Press Releases

Waters and Engel Demand Overdue Russian Sanctions Report

Trump Administration Has Failed to Comply with Law Requiring Crackdown on Human Rights Abusers

Washington, DC, May 6, 2019

Representative Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, and Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, have taken the Trump Administration to task for its failure to produce a report that is now four months past a statutory deadline detailing actions to crack down on human-rights abusers in Russia. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, the lawmakers demanded that the administration comply with the Russia Magnitsky Act, including the provision requiring an annual report to Congress detailing actions taken under the law to sanction Russian officials for human rights violations.

They wrote, “Given the concerning increase and high profile of human rights violations in Russia, it is important that the Administration take action under the Russia Magnitsky Act in order to send a clear signal to members of Vladimir Putin’s repressive government that their actions will not go unanswered and make clear to the world the United States’ profound concern about the deteriorating human rights conditions in the Russian Federation.”

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

Dear Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mnuchin:

The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (“Russia Magnitsky Act”) has been an important tool to identify and take action against individuals involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky and the crimes he uncovered, as well as those involved in other human rights violations carried out by officials of the government of the Russian Federation. Section 407 of the Russia Magnitsky Act requires the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury to report annually to Congress regarding actions taken pursuant to this Act. The administration is now over four months late in providing the required report to Congress, with the Department of Treasury last designating individuals pursuant to the Russia Magnitsky Act in December 2017.

Given the concerning increase and high profile of human rights violations in Russia, it is important that the Administration take action under the Russia Magnitsky Act in order to send a clear signal to members of Vladimir Putin’s repressive government that their actions will not go unanswered and make clear to the world the United States’ profound concern about the deteriorating human rights conditions in the Russian Federation.

Accordingly, please provide the following documents by May 17, 2019:

(1) A copy of the statutorily mandated annual report on the U.S. government’s actions in 2018 to implement the Russia Magnitsky Act; and
(2) A written explanation as to why the Administration failed to submit this report to Congress until at least three months after its due date.

Sincerely,

MAXINE WATERS
Chairwoman
House Committee on Financial Services

ELIOT L. ENGEL
Chairman
House Committee on Foreign Affairs


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