In a letter to President Donald Trump on Monday, a group of 140 House Democrats urged the President to impose sanctions on Russia in response to Kremlin’s interference campaign in the 2016 election.
“Your actions over the last year have shown that you will constantly excuse President [Vladimir] Putin and deny his well-established assistance to your campaign in 2016,” the letter states, according to The Hill.
“With this latest action, you are ignoring the law and the prerogatives of a coequal branch of government and letting Russia know you will do nothing to stop additional interference in our elections,” it continues.
Representative Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led Democrats in the letter in calling for Trump to implement sanctions that Congress overwhelmingly approved last year.
The deadline to implement those sanctions came and went in January. The Trump administration reasoned that there was no need to impose the sanctions because the threat of sanctions served as enough of a deterrent. The decision drew blowback from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who called the decision “perplexing” and “disappointing.”
The U.S. intelligence community has established that Russia attempted to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Special counsel Robert Mueller filed charges last month against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations in connection to that influence campaign.
The Trump administration has continued to face criticism from lawmakers after multiple intelligence officials said they expect Russia to try and interfere in this year’s midterm elections. Some officials have said they believe the response to prevent such interference needs to be more robust.
Trump has vowed to counteract any Russian meddling efforts “very strongly.”