In the years before Moscow invaded Ukraine, Democrats enriched themselves politically and personally from oligarchs and businesses in the region while empowering Vladimir Putin with energy and technology deals.
In the early days of Russia’s war on Ukraine, President Joe Biden boldly declared he was ready to seize “ill-begotten gains” of the region’s oligarchs.
But in the years before Moscow twice invaded Ukraine, Democrats enriched themselves politically and personally from such oligarchs and businesses in the region while empowering Vladimir Putin with energy and technology deals that still haunt America today.
Our best-selling book “Fallout: Nuclear Bribes, Russian Spies and the Washington Lies that Enriched the Clinton and Biden Dynasties” chronicled how a failed “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations led by Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton relied on an appeasement strategy that ultimately backfired with Russia.
Putin’s spoils were measured in billions of dollars in uranium contracts with U.S. utilities, expanded oil imports and transfers of sensitive technologies.
The American dynasties counted their victories in millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation, speech fees to Bill Clinton, and lucrative board seats and consulting deals for Hunter Biden.
The appeasement policy began in February 2009. Russia had invaded its neighbor and former client state, Georgia, six months earlier. The lame-duck George W. Bush administration planned to put missile defense structures in Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression against its neighbors.
But one of the Obama-Biden administration’s first foreign policy maneuvers was to cancel that plan via a “secret letter” to Putin’s placeholder, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Why? U.S. leaders apparently wanted to make deals with Russia, and giant missile silos in Putin’s backyard were a nonstarter for Moscow.
But the canceled missile defense in Eastern Europe was only the beginning in a long line of concessions to Russia that not only emboldened Putin, but advanced Russian military capabilities in ways that are now having deadly consequences for Ukrainian civilians (think hypersonic missiles) while threatening the global economy.
“The last few years have seen a dangerous drift in relations between Russia and the members of our Alliance,” Biden said at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 7, 2009. “It is time — to paraphrase President Obama — it’s time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.” Biden thus gave voice to what became the “Russia Reset” policy, embodied a month later when Clinton famously pushed a literal red “reset” button with her Russian counterpart.
By 2010, the Obama-Biden-Clinton Russian reset was in full swing. The administration put forth a mutual nuclear disarmament treaty known as “New START,” which, while noble in its declared intentions, risked weakening a compliant partner such as the United States while strengthening a Russia not constrained by the rules.
Another deal that Obama, Biden, and Clinton gave the Russians was called the “123 Agreement,” which allowed state-owned Russian entities like nuclear behemoth Rosatom to sell nuclear materials directly to U.S. utility companies.
This deal continues to pay huge dividends to the Obama Foundation’s top donor, Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. And President Biden has allowed that deal to survive even during the Ukraine war, exempting nuclear fuel sales to U.S. utilities from his recent sanctions targeting Russian energy imports.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-driven 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and other so-called denuclearization efforts with Libya and North Korea, effectively sent hundreds of thousands of tons of uranium to Russia for enrichment — a huge cash and energy windfall for Putin.
On top of these nuclear handouts, the Obama-Biden-Clinton team gave Russia one of the biggest prizes of all: Uranium One.
By Seamus Bruner and John Solomon