Photo: Lorie Shaull
Hillary Clinton labored as Secretary of State to channel American dollars into Russia's tech development — including military technology. The swap would send Russian investments to the United States.
The initial glimpse came recently when the NY Times conducted an inquiry into the Clinton Foundation (CF) and the American State Department. The NYT investigation was triggered by, "Clinton Cash" author Peter Schweizer.
The underlying story concerns the disposal of a ruling share of a Canadian business to Rosatom, Russia's atomic energy firm. Since Uranium One managed uranium deposits in America, the deal required acceptance from the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS).
Several Uranium One investors made contributions while the deal was being examined.
Additionally, Bill Clinton received a half-million in 2010 for a talk to a Russian financial house connected to the government. The American government approved the sale in 2010.
The likelihood for quid pro quo: in trade for contributions to the Foundation, Hillary applied her office as Secretary of State to approve the sale. While the connection is not explicit, there is apparently some relation between contributions and Hillary Clinton's official actions.
There isn't any evidence for allegations of a quid pro quo — yet. The sole indication is the timing: persons who would profit from the deal were donors at roughly the very time the American government was reviewing the purchase.
The supposed wrong isn't that Clinton supported the individuals who made donations; it's that she missed opposing them, something all of the government agencies neglected to do.
With the history of these kinds of investigations, the media has an obligation to be extra careful when a story like this appears. That doesn't mean the media should ignore it, but it does mean the media should work diligently to separate facts from speculation.
Russia's "Silicon Valley" Benefits
Supporting the Skolkovo Innovation Center, sort of the "Silicon Valley" in Russia, the State Department looked for American investment partners for the project.
Seventeen groups that committed tens of millions to the Clinton Foundation, including Google and Cisco, were among over 25 "key partners". By 2012 American military experts were warning that Skolkovo included work related to Russian defense capabilities.
"Even if it can be demonstrated that these millions of dollars in donations didn't play a role in the Clinton State Department missing obvious red flags, the perception is still problematic," Schweizer writes.
The activity connecting Clinton and Russian technology began when President Obama worked with Russia to establish the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.
The commission, led by Clinton and her counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, was tasked with identifying regions of cooperation and pursuit of joint projects and actions to strengthen strategic stability and international security.
Leaked diplomatic cables show Russia winning Clinton's help in obtaining funding for Skolkovo. The Russians set up the nonprofit Skolkovo Foundation to aid in the effort. Clinton's State Department started helping the Russian State Investment Fund, Rusnano, find investment opportunities with American technology firms.