WASHINGTON – A Justice Department inquiry launched more than two years ago to mollify critics clamoring for more investigations of Hillary Clinton has effectively ended with no tangible results, and current and former law enforcement officials said they never expected the effort to produce much of anything.
John Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, was tapped in November 2017 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to look into concerns raised by President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress that the FBI had not fully pursued cases of possible corruption at the Clinton Foundation and during her time as secretary of state, when the U.S. government decided not to block the sale of a company called Uranium One.
As a part of his review, Huber examined documents and conferred with federal law enforcement officials in Little Rock, Ark., who were handling a probe into the Clinton Foundation, people familiar with the matter said. Current and former officials said that Huber has largely finished and found nothing worth pursuing — though the assignment has not formally ended and no official notice has been sent to the Justice Department or to lawmakers, these people said.
The effective conclusion of his investigation with no criminal charges or other known impacts is likely to roil some in the GOP who had hoped the prosecutor would vindicate their long-held suspicions about a political rival.
Sessions had instructed Huber to review a wide array of issues related to Clinton. They included the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One matters, along with the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state and alleged leaks by former FBI Director James Comey.
A spokeswoman for Huber referred questions to Justice Department headquarters, where a spokeswoman declined to comment.
Huber’s task was nebulous from the start. Some people involved in the matters he was said to be reviewing expressed surprise that they were not contacted by the U.S. attorney and wondered privately what he was doing.
Republicans had questioned whether there was misconduct in the U.S. government’s decision to not block a 2010 acquisition in which Russia’s atomic energy agency, Rosatom, acquired a controlling stake in Uranium One, a Toronto-based company. The deal meant that Rosatom got rights to about 20% of the uranium extraction capacity in the United States.
The deal required approval from a multiagency board because it involved giving a foreign government control of an American business commodity with national security implications. Some questioned whether Clinton may have manipulated the board to let the acquisition proceed, but current and former officials have said the decision was handled well below the level of the secretary of state.
Clinton’s critics also demanded an investigation into whether wealthy individuals and governments may have made donations to the Clinton Foundation in the hopes of getting favors from the State Department. That investigation was restarted after the 2016 election but has not gained traction, according to people familiar with the matter.