No Collusion? Treasury Department Sanctions Russia for Aiding Donald Trump in 2016 Election
Turns out that there was collusion after all. A lot of it. On Thursday, the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control published a report which found that the Kremlin, under the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin, funneled intel to operatives embedded within Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, including Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.
CNN’s Marshall Cohen noted on Twitter that today’s revelations are far more damning than those of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose probe of Trump’s connections with Russia was cut short by former Attorney General William Barr.
For the first time EVER, the US government said Russian agent Konstantin Kilimnik provided Russian intelligence agencies with the internal Trump campaign polling/strategy data he received from Manafort and Gates in 2016. Even Mueller didn't go that far. https://t.co/wGNnHdFxRU pic.twitter.com/O9GEjpJ0CG
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) April 15, 2021
Treasury also announced that it had levied an unprecedented flurry of sanctions against 16 Russian entities as well as 16 individuals for their roles in interfering with American elections.
The Intelligence Community’s “assessment addresses the intentions and efforts of key foreign actors, including Russia, to influence or interfere with the U.S. elections and undermine public confidence in the election process. Russia employed a system of government officials, disinformation outlets, and companies to covertly influence U.S. voters and spread misinformation about U.S. political candidates and U.S. election processes and institutions,” the Treasury Department said in a press release.
“Treasury will target Russian leaders, officials, intelligence services, and their proxies that attempt to interfere in the U.S. electoral process or subvert U.S. democracy. This is the start of a new U.S. campaign against Russian malign behavior,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.
“Today’s actions highlight how multiple Russian officials, proxies, and intelligence agencies coordinated to interfere with recent U.S. elections. Private and public sector corruption facilitated by President Vladimir Putin has enriched his network of confidants, who used their illicit business connections to advance Russia’s campaign to undermine the 2020 U.S. presidential election -and to give Russia plausible deniability in its disinformation activities,” Treasury said.
“As a result of today’s designations,” it added, “all property and interests in property of these targets that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. Additionally, any entities 50 percent or more owned by one or more designated persons are also blocked. In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to secondary sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action.”