A group of Senate Democrats on Thursday urged the Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia for recent efforts by Russians to interfere in the upcoming U.S. elections.
“Congress mandated a broad range of sanctions tools, and it is long past time for the administration to send a direct message to President Putin: the U.S. will respond immediately and forcefully to continuing election interference by the government of the Russian Federation and its surrogates, to punish, deter, and substantially increase the economic and political costs of such interference,” they wrote.
Evanina wrote that “Kremlin-linked actors” were trying to “boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television,” and that “pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption” to undermine Biden’s candidacy.
“We assess that China prefers that President Trump—whom Beijing sees as unpredictable—does not win reelection,” the Intelligence analysis stated.
The senators urged Mnuchin to use the authority given by a 2018 executive order to impose sanctions in the event of foreign interference in the U.S. election.
While Evanina emphasized election interference more broadly, the senators’ letter only addressed Russian interference and made no mention of China’s interference in the upcoming 2020 elections.
“As many of us have observed, there is virtually no national security threat more serious than that posed by those who would undermine confidence in, and the effective operation of, our democratic elections,” the senators added.
But, he said, “within minutes of one of those briefings ending, a number of members of Congress went to a number of different outlets and leaked classified information for political purposes.”
He said that it was designed “to create a narrative that simply isn’t true, that somehow Russia is a greater national security threat than China.”
“I don’t mean to minimize Russia. They are a serious national security threat, but day in, day out, the threats that we face from China are significantly greater,” Ratcliffe said. “Anyone who says otherwise is just politicizing intelligence for their own narrative.”
On Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Ratcliffe demanding that he reinstate the in-person hearings for Congress or face repercussions.
“We thus urge you to draw upon the conclusion of the Intelligence Community to identify and target for sanctions all those determined to be responsible for ongoing election interference,” the Senators wrote.
The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’s request for comment on the letter.