The United States is all set to sanction oligarchs in Russia over the election meddling scandal, which could be the most aggressive move against Russian business top-brass. This will directly affect close Putin aides and give a clear message to Russia about US resolve to make Russia account for meddling in US Presidential elections in 2016.
Trump has faced tough criticism for not taking enough actions against Russia for its involvement in the big scam. Although, Trump administration had sanctioned 19 Russians and 5 entities in March for their involvement with the Cyber attacks in the US and across the world it had refrained from acting against oligarchs and other Russian government officials. The sanctions have followed the questioning of all the Russian oligarchs by the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller over suspicion of channelizing huge donations in cash towards the Trump campaign either directly or via other routes. This is seen as a part of the wider allegations of collusion of Trump campaign with the Russians. The US Campaign Finance laws prohibit donations from foreigners to any political campaigns.
Mueller’s office is investigating all funding by Russians to any companies and people which had political action committees for funding the Trump campaign and if any oligarch from Russia used straw donors to influence the campaign. As per the Center for Responsive Politics, $333 million was raised by Trump Presidential campaign while a record number of $ 106.8 million were raised by Trump’s inauguration committee which was twice as higher than any of the predecessors.
The oligarchs will be sanctioned as per CAATSA Act or the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act which was passed by both the Democrats and the Republicans for punishing Russia for meddling in US elections, annexing Crimea in 2014 and its role in the Syrian war.