Senators propose hitting Russian 'kleptocrats' with sanctions after lawyer's death

Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinGOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Dems take over floor to protest Senate inaction on gun control Voinovich led charge against anti-Semitism MORE (D-Md.), the lead sponsor of the bill, said Magnitsky "blew the whistle on the largest known tax fraud in Russian history," and named Russian officials involved in the plan to defraud Russia of about $230 million. Magnitsky was soon arrested, held in detention for almost a year with no trial, and died after suffering from untreated medical complications.

Cardin's bill, which is sponsored by several Democrats and Republicans, including Sens. John McCainJohn McCainMarines reignite debate on women in combat Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Report: Prominent neoconservative to fundraise for Clinton MORE (R-Ariz.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenate Dems link court fight to Congressional Baseball Game Dems: Immigration decision will 'energize' Hispanic voters Senate Dems rip GOP on immigration ruling MORE (D-Ill.), would deny U.S. visas to the Russian officials involved in his death. It would also freeze the U.S.-held assets of these individuals.

"My legislation simply says if you commit gross violations of human rights, don't expect to visit Disneyland, Aspen or South Beach and expect your accounts to be frozen if you bank with us," Cardin said Thursday.

"Visas are privileges, not rights, and we must be willing to see beyond the veil of sovereignty that kleptocrats often hide behind," he added. "They do this by using courts, prosecutors and police as instruments of advanced corporate raiding and hope outsiders are given pause by their official trappings of office and lack of criminal records."

Cardin also charged that Russia has done nothing to further investigate Magnitsky's death, and the bill essentially calls on the U.S. government to identify those involved.

Under the bill, S. 1039, the State Department would have to publish a list of Russian officials responsible for the death and abuse of Magnitsky, and then deny these officials U.S. visas. It would also require the Treasury Department to further investigate money-laundering related to the tax conspiracy Magnitsky identified, and freeze related assets in the U.S.

Other co-sponsors to the bill are Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteMcConnell quashes Senate effort on guns Republicans blast latest Gitmo transfer Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote MORE (R-N.H.), Mark BegichMark BegichSenate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D-Alaska), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalElizabeth Warren joins House Dems' sit-in Democrats stage sit-in on House floor to push for gun vote Dems blast Republicans after failed gun votes MORE (D-Conn.), Mike JohannsMike JohannsTo buy a Swiss company, ChemChina must pass through Washington Republican senator vows to block nominees over ObamaCare co-ops Revisiting insurance regulatory reform in a post-crisis world MORE (R-Neb.), Mark KirkMark KirkDuckworth settles retaliation lawsuit The Trail 2016: Berning embers Senate Dems link court fight to Congressional Baseball Game MORE (R-Ill.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: 'I didn't run for the Senate to run for president again' Sunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval O'Malley gives Trump a nickname: 'Chicken Donald' MORE (R-Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenGOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Overnight Defense: Senate rejects new FBI surveillance powers | Brexit vote looms | Push for new military aid deal with Israel Senators push vote to condemn Russia's 'reckless actions' MORE (D-N.H.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's 12:30 Report Hacked computer network mysteriously back online Marketplace for hacked-server sales may be much bigger than reported MORE (D-R.I.) and Roger WickerRoger WickerRubio will run for reelection Lawmakers push first responder network on rural service Senate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect MORE (R-Miss.).

More in Senate

Dem senators call for sanctions on Congo

Read more »