U.S. Sanctions 2020 Election Meddlers Tied To Giuliani

The Trump administration on Monday issued a fresh round of sanctions on a Russia-backed network of individuals who attempted to influence the 2020 election by spreading false information about Joe Biden, according to an announcement by the Treasury Department.

The sanctions target several people linked to Andrii Derkach, the Ukrainian lawmaker who helped Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani disseminate negative stories about President-elect Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, during the 2020 election cycle. Derkach, a leading pro-Moscow voice, was sanctioned in September, and the new measures are part of an effort by the U.S. government to crack down on his associates, who are tied to election interference as well. The sanctions target seven Ukrainians believed to be part of the Derkach-led network that sought to sway last year’s election through a series of online influence operations.

The United States maintains Derkach and his allies disseminated and promoted “fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations involving a U.S. political candidate,” now widely known to be Biden. Derkach knowingly pushed false information about Biden’s dealings in Ukraine, the Treasury Department claimed in a statement that was notable for its rebuke of Russian sympathizers known to have worked with Giuliani, a top Trump adviser. Derkach, the government said, was acting “as an agent of the Russian intelligence services to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.” The campaign was meant to “advance disinformation narratives that U.S. government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine.”

The statement was vague on details, however, about what information the United States specifically deemed to be false. Hunter Biden is currently under federal investigation for his work with Ukrainian energy company Burisma, giving credence to claims that he inappropriately profited from his family name. (Read more from “U.S. Sanctions 2020 Election Meddlers Tied To Giuliani” HERE)

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