Goodlatte, Gowdy Open Investigation into Decisions Made by DOJ in 2016

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

The chairman of the House intelligence committee is launching a new probe into an Obama-era uranium deal as his panel interviews two witnesses key to its investigation into Russian meddling in the USA election.

The panel's top Democrat spoke out against the uranium probe Tuesday, describing it as a "coordinated distraction" from the Russian Federation interference in the 2016 election, a subject the panel is investigating.

The probe was announced by the committee's Republican chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, who stepped down from the investigation into Russia's election interference over concerns about his ties to the White House.

At the time, Clinton was secretary of state, leading one of nine government agencies comprising CFIUS.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes said questions surrounding the potential Federal Bureau of Investigation probe would be front-and-center in the panel's inquiry.

Nunes said that he has not spoken to the White House about the matter.

While at the State Department, Hillary Clinton helped approve the sale, which handed over control 20 percent of the USA uranium supply to the Russian government.

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The Justice Department has not yet responded to CNN's request for comment.

"Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales", the two chairmen said in a statement.

In 2009, the state-owned Russian nuclear company Rosatom started buying shares and then sought to assume a majority ownership in Uranium One, a Toronto, Canada-based industry with United States interests.

The line of attack was renewed recently after the Hill reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had found "substantial evidence" that Russian officials engaged in "bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering created to grow Vladimir Putin's atomic energy business inside the United States" before the Obama administration gave the deal the go-ahead. However, the Canadians involved in the deal with Russian Federation were later revealed to have been donors to The Clinton Foundation, and some of the donations were not publicly disclosed.

"One of the things that we're concerned about is whether or not there was an FBI investigation?"

Oversight Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said Tuesday that members have identified a "witness who was a confidential informant who wants to talk about his role in this" but were trying to first get the witness released from a nondisclosure agreement with the Justice Department. Nunes, now the subject of an ethics inquiry for his actions, handed over the reins of the committee's investigation of Russian election meddling to Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, but he has not recused himself from the inquiry.

"It is possible there was no FBI or DOJ investigation going on", Nunes added.

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