Committee Investigation Shows No Impropriety in Nuclear Energy Transfers to Saudi Arabia

Full Committee on Oversight and Reform
Full Committee on Oversight and Reform
Published: Jul 22, 2019

Committee Investigation Shows No Impropriety in Nuclear Energy Transfers to Saudi Arabia
Chairman Cummings and Oversight Democrats continue to pursue unsubstantiated, partisan investigations

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, released a staff report detailing how the evidence before the Committee to date does not show that the Trump Administration acted inappropriately in the proposed transfer of nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia.

Background:
Since 2017, Chairman Elijah Cummings and Committee Democrats have been examining alleged “efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.” In February 2019, Democrats expanded their inquiry to examine the alleged conflicts of interest involving former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; Tom Barrack, the Chairman of the Trump Inaugural Committee and Founder and Executive Chairman of Colony Capital; and IP3, a group of national security experts advocating for American-led nuclear energy around the world.
The Committee has received nearly 60,000 pages of documents from private entities and over 1,600 pages of documents from the Trump Administration. In addition, the Committee has received staff-level briefings from IP3, the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, and the State Department’s Bureau of Nonproliferation.
Read the full staff report here.
Key points from the staff report:
  • The Trump Administration is not “rushing” to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The evidence available to the Committee does not show that the Administration is rushing to transfer nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia. The documents show that IP3 attempted to educate federal officials about the important for American companies to lead the development of civil nuclear energy in the Middle East. The evidence suggests that the companies involved in developing Saudi Arabian civilian nuclear energy technology have completed the time-intensive and required Energy Department authorizations.
  • The Trump Administration is not conflicted from decisions on the transfer of nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia. The Democrats suggest that IP3 sought to lean on its relationships with former senior White House officials to urge President Trump to name Tom Barrack as the envoy for nuclear energy in the Middle East. Ultimately, however, the White House did not select Barrack to lead any effort toward civilian nuclear energy in the Middle East.
  • The Committee has no evidence that the Administration skirted Congressional notification requirements. The Democrats allege there was malfeasance within the Trump Administration in granting or fast-tracking 810 Authorizations to energy companies allowing companies to conduct business in Saudi Arabia. However, the evidence before the Committee does not support this allegation. The Democrats also allege that the Trump Administration is skirting the rules by attempting to transfer nuclear technology without a 123 Agreement in place. State Department officials informed Committee staff that the 123 Agreement negotiation process relating to Saudi Arabia began in 2012 during the Obama Administration and remains ongoing. Even if Saudi Arabia builds nuclear reactors, U.S. companies could not transfer plutonium or uranium until the negotiations are complete and Congress has reviewed the agreement.
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