In an official statement on Friday, the Department of Justice announced the indictment of former Maryland executive Mark Lambert on “11 counts related to foreign bribery, fraud and money laundering scheme.” The indictment effectively tied Lambert to the Uranium One scandal because his alleged illicit activity involved JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), an arm of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation which now owns both TENEX and Uranium One. Despite the importance of the new indictment, the major three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) had been dead silent.
According to the DOJ press release, which was citing the indictment:
Lambert conspired with others at “Transportation Corporation A” to make corrupt and fraudulent bribery and kickback payments to offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies, at the direction of, and for the benefit of, a Russian official, Vadim Mikerin, in order to secure improper business advantages and obtain and retain business with TENEX.
All of which were allegedly in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The press release also noted that “Lambert’s former co-president, Daren Condrey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud, and Vadim Mikerin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering involving violations of the FCPA.”
Where the major three networks failed, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends didn’t. “An indictment in the Uranium One scandal, Mark Lambert the former head of a Maryland transit firm is accused of bribing Russians for nuclear contracts,” announced co-host Steve Doocy and he was introducing Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“Allegedly he was giving kickbacks to TENEX officials who were sharing proceeds with other Russians who were involved in the uranium industry here in the United States,” Fitton explained. “And the reason they were involved in the uranium industry here in the United States, and actually had expanded involvement, was because of the Uranium One-related decision-making made by the Obama administration.”
The Clintons fit into this puzzle because people with ties to the Russian uranium agency, as Fitton recalled, sent “tens of millions of dollars into the Clinton Foundation in order to make sure that the right decisions would be made by the State Department under Hillary Clinton that would allow them to expand their activities here in the United States.”
The Uranium One deal was ultimately approved by Clinton’s State Department and the Obama administration despite the fact that the FBI was well aware of such bribery activities by the Russians were underway. That was another story the networks failed to cover properly.
Interestingly, the indictment against Lambert came nearly a month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions order federal prosecutors to review the FBI’s handling of the Uranium One deal. “A senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the initial FBI investigation told NBC News there were allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the U.S. government approved the sale. But no charges were filed,” NBC mentioned at the time.
It's unclear if this indictment would be the first of many and it’s unclear just how far up the chain the FBI’s inaction on prosecutions went.
The relevant portion of the transcript is below:
Fox News Channel
Fox and Friends
January 15, 2018
6:17:15 AM Eastern
STEVE DOOCY: An indictment in the Uranium One scandal, Mark Lambert the former head of a Maryland transit firm is accused of bribing Russians for nuclear contracts. So, what does it mean for the investigation? Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton has been -- has forced opened many of the probes based on his Freedom of Information Act lawsuits and he joins us live from D.C. Good morning to you. Thanks for joining us on this holiday.
TOM FITTON: You're welcome. How are you?
DOOCY: I'm doing okay. This Mark Lambert character who headed up this trucking firm in Maryland, money laundering, it sounds like conspiracy, wire fraud. Who is this guy?
FITTON: Well, he had contracts with the Russian-owned state uranium company essentially – TENEX and allegedly he was giving kickbacks to TENEX officials who were sharing proceeds with other Russians who were involved in the uranium industry here in the United States. And the reason they were involved in the uranium industry here in the United States, and actually had expanded involvement, was because of the Uranium One-related decision-making made by the Obama administration.
Made despite them knowing that this type of activity was going on. Sort of bribery kickback schemes that are endemic in Russia and Russia-related industries no matter where they are operating. And secondly, them sending tens of millions of dollars into the Clinton Foundation in order to make sure that the right decisions would be made by the State Department under Hillary Clinton that would allow them to expand their activities here in the United States.
DOOCY: And ultimately the deal was approved and that fast-forwards us to this point. A lot of members of Congress on the Republican side were upset that this was not thoroughly investigated and, in fact, Tom, I believe it was in December, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he encouraged the Department of Justice to reopen the case. Is this indictment a byproduct of that or do we know?
FITTON: We don't know for sure but I don't think it's coincidental a few months after it's reported that the fact that the Justice Department under Obama was hiding this in plain sight from the American people and certainly hiding key information from Congress. And then the Justice Department under Jeff Sessions responds: “Hey, we are going to take another look at this.” There’s a new indictment to follow up on an indictment that had been sitting out there or a conviction sitting out there since 2015.
FITTON: This is about, in the end, what steps they are going to take about what happened with Hillary Clinton. Now we got the bribery going on with the Russian transportation here in the United States. Got Uranium One side of it, is the Clinton gang going to be investigated by this Sessions Justice Department as aggressively as it ought to happen?