WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joined a group of colleagues to call on the Trump Administration to put together a comprehensive plan to stop foreign interference in the 2020 election, after the Treasury Department sanctioned Ukrainian national, and longtime Russian agent, Andriy Derkach for his role in spreading misinformation about Vice President Joe Biden.
Peters, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, Intelligence Committee Vice-Chair Mark Warner, Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed, Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, Democratic Whip Richard Durbin and Rules Committee Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar, issued the following statement nearly a week after they first pressed the Administration to sanction Russians interfering in the 2020 election:
“Today’s announcement of sanctions against Russian agent Andriy Derkach comes a week after we urged Secretary Mnuchin to impose new election interference sanctions and demonstrates the critical importance of congressional briefings and public transparency in protecting the nation from ongoing attacks against our democracy. It is vital that intelligence about this and similar threats be briefed to Congress and acted upon. This is why DNI Ratcliffe’s refusal to provide briefings on election interference seriously undermines Congress’s ability to act to defend the country.
“Derkach, an active Russian agent for over a decade, is attempting to influence the U.S. election by ‘cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives’ designed to denigrate Vice President Biden. His campaign of ‘manipulation and deceit’ has been amplified by President Trump’s allies in and out of Congress, and has fueled investigations by Republican Senators. Today’s announcement seriously undermines the credibility of those investigations, and underscores that Americans should reject and resist Russian efforts at foreign interference, and faulty investigations amplifying them.
“Secretary Mnuchin did the right thing in acting to sanction Derkach. The Trump administration must now move swiftly to sanction other individuals and entities responsible for attempts to influence or interfere in the election. Whack-a-mole sanctions will not protect the country. The government must have a comprehensive strategy to disrupt all foreign interference efforts. It must also immediately declassify the identities of other malign actors so that the American people know who they are and the government can act quickly in imposing public sanctions.”