Washington – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, today released a new letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him to use all available resources from the Department of Justice to the State Department to extradite the 13 Russian nationals indicted by the D.C. Grand Jury to justice and stand trial in the United States. Despite Special Counsel Mueller’s recent indictment of 13 Russian nationals for interfering in the 2016 US election, in an interview just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted he would “never” extradite any of the Russians indicted for these crimes. In the letter, the Democrats note that the inaction on the part of the Trump administration regarding the integrity of American elections has been unacceptable. To this end, the top Democrats emphasized how critical it is for these Russian nationals to stand trial in the United States to deter Russia and other foreign powers from attempting to attack our Democracy in the future.
Full text of the Democrats’ letter to President Trump can be found below:
Dear Mr. President,
We write to urge your administration to devote all resources available to ensure that the Russian nationals indicted for allegedly interfering with the 2016 elections are brought to justice and stand trial in the United States.
In February, a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia issued an indictment charging 13 Russian nationals with crimes related to efforts to interfere with our elections and political processes. These individuals are alleged to have engaged in conspiracy to defraud the U.S., wire and bank fraud, and identity theft while employed by the Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg-based organization which carried out operations targeting the United States.
Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted in an interview that Russia will “never” extradite any of the Russians indicted for election-meddling. While Putin’s stance is not surprising, it is also simply unacceptable.
The Russian government’s efforts to interfere with American democracy have not abated since the 2016 election and likely have intensified. It is extraordinary and confounding how little your administration is doing to counter Putin’s campaign to undermine our grand democracy, including the refusal to implement sanctions that passed Congress nearly unanimously.
Even without an extradition treaty the U.S. government has a number of tools at its disposal through the Departments of Justice and State to ensure these Russian nationals are brought to justice. The Department of Justice can obtain an Interpol Red Notice, which acts like an international arrest warrant, which can severely restrict a fugitive’s ability to live and travel overseas. The Department of State and your White House can also use its leverage through diplomatic channels, including by raising the issue directly with President Putin, to ensure Russia and other nations cooperate with a request for extradition.
It is of the utmost importance that these agencies have the resources to work to secure these fugitives and are allowed to conduct their efforts to bring them to justice free from any political interference. Ensuring these Russian nationals stand trial in the United States is imperative for deterring Russia from future attacks on our democracy and would be a signal to those who seek to meddle with our election that such actions are not without consequences.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)