The lawyer representing a former FBI informant demanded Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions open an investigation into unauthorized and falsified leaks to the media by “anonymous federal officials.” The informant’s lawyer said the leakers disparaged her client in an effort to silence him from providing testimony to Congress regarding his role in exposing Russia’s long-term strategy to dominate the global uranium market and how Moscow achieved its goal in 2010 of obtaining roughly 20 percent of the U.S. uranium mining industry, according to a letter delivered to the DOJ.
Victoria Toensing is the attorney for William Douglas Campbell, the FBI informant who is providing Congress with troves of documentation he gathered, saved and turned over to the FBI during the nearly six years he worked as an undercover FBI asset when he was a contractor in Russia’s nuclear and energy field. She has also asked Sessions to investigate a December 15 briefing given by “senior officials” to the Senate Judiciary and House Intelligence and Oversight committees “with the same false information that was leaked anonymously to the media and later refuted by the Justice Department,” as stated in her letter.
“The leaks were not only illegal but they were also false, intended to attack the credibility of Mr. Campbell,” said Toensing, referring to the leaks by ‘federal officials’ to the media. She attached a 38-page appendix of documentation disproving the leaks.
“As such they are libelous,” she added.
Campbell, who had also worked with the CIA during his long overseas career, was interviewed earlier this month by three congressional committees and provided a written statement on his work as an informant and his reason for coming forward with the information, as previously reported. Campbell’s statement alleged that Moscow routed millions of dollars through a Washington D.C. based lobbying firm, which was “expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”
“The leaks were not only illegal but they were also false, intended to attack the credibility of Mr. Campbell”Victoria Toensing
Toensing’s said it’s Campbell’s extensive knowledge and evidence that makes him a target. In a detailed letter, she stated that the unnamed federal sources have been attempting to sully Campbell’s reputation, as well as his decades of work providing vital counterintelligence information to the U.S. government in an attempt to silence him. Toensing noted that leaks to numerous media outlets, attributed to these officials, were meant to distort the truth, discredit Campbell and render him silent.
A Feb. 6, 2018 a letter from Reps. Adam Schiff, D-CA and Elijah Cummings, D-MD to Chairmen Trey Gowdy R-SC and Devin Nunes, R-CA, stated that ‘senior officials’ who briefed the members on Dec. 15, told the House committee staff that Mr. Campbell had “serious credibility concerns.”
However, a week earlier in , DOJ officials stated that the “leaks were not authorized by the Justice Department and did not reflect accurately the official thinking of the department.”
Toensing said that it appeared to be a concerted effort by the unnamed “senior officials” to discredit Campbell from the moment her client decided to go public.
She referenced several articles that she alleges contain false information regarding Campbell. On Nov.16, 2017 a Reuters article by Joel Schectman and on Nov. 17, 2017 a Yahoo News story by Michael Isikoff referred to unnamed federal officials. Both outlets described these officials as having “detailed knowledge” of Campbell’s role as an undercover FBI informant.
In Schectman’s article, “two law enforcement officials with direct involvement in the Rosatom [a corrupt Russian company] bribery case,” claimed they had “no recollection or record of him mentioning the [Uranium One] deal during their repeated interviews with him.”
But documents provided to the FBI at the time and reviewed by this reporter tell a different story. Campbell kept detailed and meticulous notes and logs. He wrote daily briefings and provided those to the FBI during his time as an informant. In a number of the briefings, Campbell refers to Russia’s desire to get the Obama administration’s approval for the purchase of the Canadian mining company Uranium One and the effort the Russian government put into garnering approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to purchase Uranium One in the Fall of 2010. In fact, the contract he signed with the Russian company specifically cited the company Uranium One and Russia’s desire to gain approval for the purchase.
“That claim is false,” said Toensing, referring to Schectman’s story. “Mr. Campbell complained bitterly when the Uranium One deal was made public and one of his FBI agent handlers told him the decision was about “politics.” Throughout the investigation, Mr. Campbell provided documents to the FBI discussing Uranium One.”
The Yahoo News article by Isikoff also claimed that Campbell never mentioned his concerns regarding the U.S. approval to sell Uranium One to the FBI. The federal officials in the Yahoo News story, however, stated also that Campbell was “so unreliable that prosecutors dropped him as a witness in an unrelated case involving Russian uranium sales.”
“U.S. Attorney’s office for Baltimore mishandled the case”Victoria Toensing
Toensing said in the letter that the federal officials lied to Isikoff stating, “the case was not ‘unrelated’ but was the main target of the undercover investigation. It was the indictment of Vadim Mikerin, Head of Uranium Directorate, Tenex (Moscow) and President of Tenam, USA, two of the corrupt Russian nuclear energy firms about which Mr. Campbell had been providing evidence of bribes and kickbacks.”
She stated that anyone with “knowledge of federal prosecution and national security knows that as a general rule the government does not put an informant with over 30 years of undercover work for the CIA and the FBI on the witness stand. All his past undercover work would have to be revealed to defense counsel.”
Toensing argued that the FBI’s payment of $50,000 to Campbell in January 2016, long after all the defendants in the Russian nuclear bribery case pled guilty, showed his worth as an informant for the DOJ, as reported earlier.
“U.S. Attorney’s office for Baltimore mishandled the case,” Toensing added. “It filed a complaint without ever talking to Mr. Campbell. Then the office interviewed him and filed an indictment improperly claiming he was a “victim,” a term he never used when talking to the prosecutor. As a matter of law, a willing informant is not a victim. The wording of the indictment was not Mr. Campbell’s responsibility.”
Not long before the 2016 presidential election, Campbell filed a civil lawsuit attempting to recover roughly $500,000 he had lost during his time working undercover but was threatened with the loss of his reputation and freedom if he didn’t withdraw the lawsuit by the Fraud Section of the Justice Department, then under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, according to documents reviewed by this reporter. Campbell fearing that would occur and then under a non-disclosure agreement, which was lifted last year, withdrew his lawsuit, as reported.
Toensing said it appears those threats against Campbell are being carried out and “senior officials are covertly and overtly maligning him for telling the truth. The illegal conduct of these “senior officials” is appalling and we ask it be investigated and those responsible be held accountable.”
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