The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on a pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker linked to Republican efforts to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, accusing him of trying to interfere in the U.S. election.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday imposed sanctions on four Russia-linked individuals for trying to interfere in the U.S. electoral process, accusing Moscow of using a range of methods and actors in an effort that included the targeting of presidential candidates.
Among the four individuals is Andrii Derkach, a pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker, who the Treasury accused of using "manipulation and deceit" in an attempt to influence U.S. elections.
In December, Derkach met with President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine, as the former New York City mayor pushed for an investigation into Trump's Democratic challenger Joe Biden and a Ukrainian energy company, where Biden’s son Hunter was a board member.
The sanctions also targeted three Russian nationals that the Treasury said are employees of Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA), which was indicted by former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Microsoft had alerted one of Biden's main election campaign advisory firms that it had been targeted by suspected Russian state-backed hackers, according to three people briefed on the matter.
The sanctions also come after a former official at the Department of Homeland Security filed a whistleblower complaint alleging he was pressured by Trump appointees, including acting secretary Chad Wolf, to stop providing assessments of Russian election interference because it could "make the president look bad." Representatives of the White House and DHS have denied the allegations.
Comedian Michael Spicer has said the incompetence of politicians in recentyears handed him his career “with a little bow on top”. Spicer shot to fame in2019 with his satirical sketches about a political adviser speaking in the earof public figures as their interviews, using real-life footage, invariablyfall apart. However, the 42-year-old from Kent has said he could retire thecharacter if politics changes direction, starting with Donald Trump losing theUS election in November.
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