Derkach had previously denied trying to interfere in the US election, calling it “nonsense” In a statement to POLITICO Earlier in the summer. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the sanctions designation.
But the Treasury’s announcement underscores mounting evidence that Russia is stepping up a similar campaign in 2016 in an effort to boost Trump’s candidacy and harm his opponent. Trump administration intelligence officials have Concluded that Russia wants to harm Biden And support Trump through actors like Derkach.
Treasury Secretary Steven Menuchin called the restrictions an attempt to “counter these Russian disinfection operations and maintain the integrity of our election system”.
“Andrey Derkach and other Russian agents manipulate and deceive to try to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world,” Mnuchin said.
In his first statement, Durkach, like Russia, condemned “efforts to tie me to the special services of other countries” and said his critics were trying to discredit him by drawing attention to his studies at Moscow’s FSB Academy , Formerly known as the Dzerzhinsky Hire. School of KGB.
Derkach’s father, Leonid, was a KGB operative for decades before becoming head of Ukraine’s security services; He was fired in 2004 for his alleged involvement in a murder plot.
“The main objective of our activity is pursuing the interests of Ukraine, exposing international corruption,” [and] The strategic partner at that time – was to maintain partnership relations between Ukraine and USA. He hired lobbyists earlier this year to hold meetings with White House officials and members of the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees.
Since then Derkach has alleged that his visa was canceled, and his lobbyists released him as a client last month. One of Lobbyists told POLITICO They are cooperating with US law enforcement.
Democrats have stated evidence that Durkach has disseminated packets of anti-Biden information to Republican lawmakers investigating Biden’s role in Ukraine, worrying that he was disinfecting the ongoing congressional investigation .
The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Is investigating the work on the board of a Ukrainian energy company of Hunter Biden. Although Johnson has strongly refuted the suggestion that Durkach has supplied the committee with any information, Democrats have accused him of exaggerating the infamous allegations emanating from pro-Russia factions in Ukraine .
Durkach also promoted leaked audio recordings of Biden’s conversations with Ukrainian leaders when he was spearheading the Obama administration’s diplomatic and anti-corruption efforts in the country. Trump has raised awareness of the tapes on his Twitter feed, given coverage by Trump TV station OANN, which devoted significant airtime to the leaked tapes.