July 13, 2018

Menendez Statement on New Charges Against Russian Spies for 2016 Election Interference

Calls on President Trump to Demand Putin Hand Over Intelligence Officers

NEWARKU.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers charging them with hacking offenses related to the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign:

“In light of today’s indictment, and if the President is going to persist in attending a summit with Vladimir Putin, he must take the forceful but necessary steps to stand up for the United States and defend our national security against the Kremlin’s campaign to undermine democracy at home and abroad. 

“First, President Trump must demand that Putin hand over all of the Russian spies indicted by the United States for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  Second, the Treasury Department must immediately impose sanctions mandated by Congress on the Russian intelligence officers indicted today. And third, the President should demand Putin return Crimea to Ukraine, release individuals from Crimea imprisoned by Russia on political grounds, and fulfill his pledge to remove Iran from Syria.

“The fact that the Trump Administration still refuses to fully impose sanctions on the Russian government as required under the mandatory provisions of CAATSA is unacceptable.  Of particular concern today is CAATSA’s Section 231, which requires the imposition of sanctions on those who conduct significant transactions with specific entities in the Russian defense and intelligence sectors. We targeted those sectors when drafting CAATSA precisely because our intelligence community deemed them responsible for the attack on our election in 2016.  Today’s indictments are only further affirmation of that.

“I hope that President Trump will wake up from his willful paralysis and finally address the threats posed by the Russian Government to our country.”

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