- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted earlier this month by special counsel Robert Mueller for hacking into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016 could soon face stiff U.S. financial sanctions. 

On Tuesday, Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, and Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, released a letter they sent requesting that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “swiftly impose” sanctions on the alleged cyber-criminals.

“As previously demonstrated by your office, the Treasury Department has the legal authority necessary to impose sanctions on individuals who engage in cyber activities intended to interfere in America’s elections,” they wrote on Monday.

On July 13, the Department of Justice charged the members of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate abbreviated (the GRU) with hacking offenses including the DNC breach, attempting to break into state boards of elections and other government agencies, conspiracy against the U.S. and money laundering. The indictment detailed a labyrinthine plot that stretched around the world.

Both senators serve on the Senate Banking Committee, which has authority over financial sanctions.

To prod Mr. Mnuchin forward, Mr. Toomey and Mr. Van Hollen cited recent decisions by Treasury officials to sanction Russians through executive order, in addition to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) bill that Congress passed, and President Trump signed last year. That law created new levels of sanctions for Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Mr. Mueller’s indictment of the Russian officers.

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