It’s been more than five months since the State Department formally determined Russia had violated international chemical weapons law by poisoning a former Russian spy, and it’s been more than two months since a second round of U.S. sanctions were due to be imposed on Russia. Yet the Trump administration still has not imposed the additional sanctions, which are statutorily mandated—except for a lawless president running a lawless administration.
The State Department declined to tell MSNBC when they would finally comply with a law compelling them to take action over the poisoning last year of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal with Novichok. “There is no deadline in the law for imposing sanctions,” the State Department said, adding, “We intend to proceed according to the statutory requirements.”
One round of sanctions for the Skripal poisoning was already imposed on Russia in August, but the State Department said last November that Russia continued to be out of compliance with international law, which should have triggered the second round of penalties.
In a letter Thursday, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take action that is months overdue. “I urge you to impose these sanctions immediately to ensure that the statutorily mandated sanctions is not undermined.”