Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Will Trump Be Impeached For Selling Nuclear Technology To Saudi Arabia?


A Saudi riyal is worth about a quarter. Do you know what one looks like? Take a closer look at what Kushner-in-law is counting and pocketing in the photo above. And some think Trump's big score isn't going come from deals in Russia but from solicited bribes (and deals) with the Saudis. In fact, one top Senate staffer told me last night that if Trump goes through with a sale of nuclear technology to the Saudis, it could be the last straw among some Republicans to give Pelosi the thumbs up to move forward with impeachment.

"If he goes forward with this without explicit backing from Israel," the staffer for a high profile senator told me, "he's going to set loose a chain reaction among Republicans that could lead right to impeachment. Pelosi knows how to count votes-- even Senate votes."

Early Monday morning Erin Banco reported for the Daily Beast what many on Capitol Hill have been buzzing about for some time: Trump's push for a Saudi nuclear deal. "In 2017," wrote Banco, "Team Trump worked to clinch a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia-- and an independent investigative agency wants to know what happened behind closed doors."

The Office of the Special Counsel-- not Mueller-- is investigating whether officials (whistleblowers) were retaliated against for raising concerns about Trump's nuclear deal with the Saudis. Banco: "As part of that investigation, OSC has also reviewed allegations about potentially improper dealings by senior members of the Trump administration in their attempt to map out a nuclear deal with Riyadh, according to two sources with knowledge of OSC’s work." Congress is also on the same track after Elijah Cummings issued a report outlining allegations about efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia-- a potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act and without review by Congress.
The Cummings report said IP3-- a firm that includes former top military officers, diplomats, and energy experts-- had developed a proposal for Saudi Arabia that was simply “a scheme for these generals to make some money.” That report said former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had ties to the firm during his time working in the Trump administration.

Sources with direct knowledge of the IP3 plans today say the firm is focused on providing security for nuclear-related projects and in finding ways to compete with Russia and China to secure those projects throughout the Middle East.

In the wake of the Cummings announcement, the Daily Beast reported that U.S. companies and officials in the administration were moving forward in their conversations with Riyadh about a nuclear deal and the transfer of nuclear technology.

The Department of Energy then approved seven U.S. companies to conduct nuclear-related work in Saudi Arabia. (Federal law stipulates that companies obtain clearance from the U.S. government for exporting nuclear technology to or engaging in the production or development of special nuclear material in the kingdom.)

That news has prompted intense questioning by lawmakers in hearings with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

“One thing that is in our interest is to prevent Saudi Arabia from getting a nuclear weapon,” Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, said. “What I’ve seen in this administration recently... is an effort to evade Congress and to some extent evade your department and provide substantial nuclear technology and aid to Saudi Arabia while [the country] refuses to abide by any of the controls we would like to see regarding reprocessing, enrichment.”

A cohort of lawmakers is ready to reveal next week a new piece of legislation that would stop the Trump administration from bypassing Congress on the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

Congress is also increasingly concerned about Jared Kushner’s relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and his recent trip to Riyadh, especially because of the news that his security clearance was denied last year in part because of concerns about foreign influence. Engel is demanding a briefing from Pompeo on Kushner’s trip to Saudi Arabia last month that included a senior State Department official but otherwise left American diplomats in the dark.

Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi isn't going for any of this talk about nuclear proliferation. "If the Saudis," he told me this morning, "can’t be trusted with a bone saw, they can’t be trusted with nuclear weapons. Regardless of any relationship this administration may think they currently enjoy with the Saudis, giving them nuclear technology is a bad idea in the short term and, especially over the long term."

Ted Lieu (D-CA), a very active member of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, isn't feeling any more sanguine and comfortable about this than Suozzi is. This morning he growled that "Trump wants to transfer nuclear technology to a regime that has committed war crimes, tortured activists and cut up a journalist with a bone saw. What could possibly go wrong?"

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At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you serious??? Nancy Pelosi won't allow impeachment, because she knows that she could never get the Senate to go along with anything if the House passed it.


At 7:04 PM, Blogger leu2500 said...

This has been in the works since at least the inauguration. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/06/michael-flynn-russia-sanctions-trump-inauguration

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He could transfer nuclear weapons to Al-Queda in the middle of 5th Avenue and still wouldn't lose a vote.

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pelosi needs Nazi party permission to impeach?"

It has been ever thus since St. Ronnie of Raygunz descended from that Shining City on the Hill and smote what little remained of the real Democratic Party until they cried out in anguish for the pummeling to cease.

They cowered while he announced that the bombing would begin in five minutes lest the Russians took him seriously. They marveled at his negotiation of an agreement to defend the planet against an alien invasion from the Galaxy. They stood idly by while he destroyed the rights of organized labor and eliminated the base of the real Democrats, leaving them weeping and gnashing their teeth in the wilderness.

From the toxic wreckage emerged the democraps, who donned collars and handed their leashes to the closest Republican, who trained them to sit, shake hands, and roll over dead on command.

Ever has it been thus.

At 7:16 AM, Anonymous wjbill said...

all this divisive talk ..... can't we all just get along and find common ground? I am sure there are very fine rich people Nancy Pelosi can find to discuss policies that will take years and years to develop.

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please list the 60 senators that will vote for removal from office after impeachment.....


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