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September 10, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT
Ukrainian lawmaker sanctioned as ‘active Russian agent’ interfering in 2020 vote
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned a member of Ukraine’s parliament for running an “influence campaign” against former vice president Joe Biden, calling the lawmaker “an active Russian agent for over a decade” who has maintained “close connections with Russian intelligence services.”
The sanctions against Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach — who released pilfered and edited phone conversations that Biden conducted with Ukraine’s leadership while vice president in an attempt to tarnish the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee — mark the most aggressive public action the U.S. government has taken to date to stanch foreign interference in the November presidential election in real time.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, has met twice with Derkach since late last year and publicized the Ukrainian lawmaker’s claims on his podcast and elsewhere, elevating what the Treasury Department has now characterized as a foreign interference campaign by an active Russian agent aimed at influencing the 2020 vote.