Derkach has previously denied attempting to interfere in the US election, calling it “nonsense” in a statement to the POLITICIAN early this summer. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the designation of sanctions.
But the Treasury announcement underscores growing evidence that Russia is mounting a campaign similar to its 2016 efforts in an effort to bolster Trump’s candidacy and harm his rival. Trump administration intelligence officials have done so concluded that Russia is trying to harm Biden and supporting Trump through actors like Derkach.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the sanctions decision an effort to “counter these Russian disinformation campaigns and uphold the integrity of our electoral system.”
“Andriy Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulations and deceptions to try to influence elections in the United States and other parts of the world,” Mnuchin said.
In his previous statement, Derkach denounced efforts “to bind me to the special services of other countries”, such as Russia, and said that his critics were trying to discredit him by drawing attention to his studies at the FSB Academy in Moscow. , formerly known as the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB.
Derkach’s father Leonid was a KGB agent for decades before becoming the head of the security services of Ukraine; was fired in 2004 for his alleged involvement in a murder plot.
“The main purpose of our business is to pursue the interests of Ukraine by exposing international corruption, [and] maintain partnership relations between strategic partners – Ukraine and the United States, ”Derkach said at the time. He hired lobbyists earlier this year to arrange meetings for him with White House officials and members of the Senate’s foreign relations and foreign affairs committees.
Derkach has since claimed his visa was revoked, and his lobbyists left him as a client last month. One of the lobbyists told POLITICO who collaborated with US law enforcement.
Democrats warned about evidence that Derkach leaked anti-Biden information packets to Republican lawmakers investigating Biden’s role in Ukraine, worried he was sowing misinformation in ongoing congressional investigations.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, led by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Investigated Hunter Biden’s work on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. Although Johnson flatly denied the suggestion that Derkach provided the committee with any information, the Democrats accused him of amplifying discredited allegations that originated from pro-Russian factions in Ukraine.
Derkach also promoted leaked audio tapes of Biden’s conversations with Ukrainian leaders as he spearheaded the Obama administration’s diplomatic and anti-corruption efforts in the country. Trump has amplified awareness of the tapes on his Twitter feed, promoting coverage by pro-Trump TV station OANN, which has devoted significant airtime to the leaked tapes.