Demand Trump Implement Russia Sanctions
On August 2, 2017, The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act was begrudgingly signed into law by President Donald Trump after being passed the House and Senate with nearly unanimous support. The Act called for fresh sanctions not only for Russia, but also North Korea and Iran. However, the October 1 deadline for implementing the sanctions came and went without Trump taking action. Now, while in Vietnam at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, he shook hands with Putin and publicly stated that he believed Putin’s claims that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, over the conclusion of 17 US intelligence agencies (a claim he later tried to walk back). Trump even suggested at a press conference that “Russia has been very, very heavily sanctioned” and that he would rather see a “friendly posture.” Clearly, members of Congress must call for Trump to implement the Russia sanctions. The law codifies Obama era sanctions imposed by executive order at the end of last year, extending sanctions to individuals engaged in malicious cyber activity or selling weapons to the Assad regime in Syria, and it defines new sanctions to be enforced against Iran for violations of human rights and continuing weapons program activities. Critically, the bill gives Congress the ability to review and reject any proposed lifting of sanctions against Russia by the Trump Administration. In light of the President’s continued inability to draw a clear line with Putin and implement the sanctions, your calls keep visibility and momentum on this critical check on the Administration’s power in dealing with Russia."