it's happening again
The U.S. Treasury Department has issued sanctions against a Ukrainian lawmaker who tried to spread damaging misinformation about Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
On Thursday, the Treasury sanctioned Andriy Derkach and three Russians, declaring that he "has been an active Russian agent for over a decade" and aided a Russian "attempt to undermine the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election." It adds to evidence that Russia is trying to interfere in this year's election much like it did in 2016, and once again, that it's trying to help President Trump.
The intelligence community has long known Derkach is closely tied to Russia, Politico notes. The Treasury solidified that Thursday by saying Derkach has held "close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services," and that together with other agents, has "employ[ed] manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world."
Last year, Derkach got close with the Trump administration by meeting with Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Kyiv as Giuliani tried to dig up dirt on Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The Treasury alluded to Derkach's anti-Biden efforts on Thursday, saying in a statement that he "cultivat[ed] false and unsubstantiated narratives" about U.S. officials in the 2020 election and spread them through "audio tapes and other unsupported information." Kathryn Krawczyk