In response to my commentary on the FBI and Uranium One, reader Jerry J. brought up the name Marc Rich, the notorious financier and fugitive from justice who was pardoned for serious white-collar crimes (some involving Iran during the Iran hostage crisis) by then-President Bill Clinton on his way out the White House door. Jerry thought there had been some connection between Rich and the Uranium One deal, that, in fact, he might have been a partner in one of the companies involved. Carter Page, he said, had mentioned this in an interview with Sean Hannity –- and, yes, I, too, find Carter Page quite believable. A little research turned up this magnificent article from 2017, which helps answers the question. And, yes, there was a connection.
As Doug Hagmann in the Canadian Free Press explains it, on September 6, 2005, former President Bill Clinton appeared with Canadian billionaire Frank Giustra in Almaty, Kazakhstan, for the stated purpose of helping HIV/AIDS patients gain access to certain drug therapies, which is a noble humanitarian purpose. But, as Peter Schweitzer points out in his book CLINTON CASH, the nation of Kazakhstan, population 15.4 million, did not have much of a problem with HIV/AIDS, certainly not compared with many other countries that were being devastated by it.
But it did have trillions of dollars in rich natural resources, including uranium.
The Kazakhstan trip was organized in part by Sergi Kurzin, who had worked for the former federal fugitive Marc Rich. So there’s the Marc Rich connection. Hard to tell from this little information nugget if Rich had a financial interest in the uranium business, but that’s not much of leap to make.
During the Kazakhstan trip, presumably when he was not hard at work getting drugs to HIV/AIDS patients, Giustra, who was then head of UrAsia Energy Ltd., reportedly met with officials about securing uranium mining contracts. This seems to be where the uranium deal all started.
Just as Clinton and Marc Rich went back years, so did Clinton and Giustra, whose association dated back to the former President’s Arkansas days and some mutual friends there. In 2005 --- same year as the Kazakhstan trip --- their partnership became public when they formed the Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative.
Hagmann’s article tells us just about everything we need to know --- aside from those still-classified Uranium One documents, of course --- about Uranium One, including a detailed and revealing timeline. I highly recommend it. And maybe someday the FBI will let us see the rest, but I’m not holding my breath because I might turn blue.