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

Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinBaltimore police officer cleared in Freddie Gray case Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Overnight Regulation: Schumer offering gun control bill 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 McCainEven in defeat, Trump could harm the country irreparably NY Jets owner said to back Trump McConnell sets up vote to begin debate on defense policy bill MORE (R-Ariz.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinLawmakers seek changes in TSA PreCheck program Sanders called top Dem to reassure him on party unity: report How Senate Democrats are trying to deal with Sanders 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 AyotteVA secretary comes under fire for comparing wait times to Disneyland Juan Williams: Electoral map looks grim for Trump Liberal super-PAC hits Johnson for supporting Trump MORE (R-N.H.), Mark BegichMark BegichEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium Dem ex-lawmakers defend Schumer on Iran MORE (D-Alaska), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenators take aim at 'armies of zombie computers' Report: Sexual assault victims wrongfully discharged from military TSA uproar spills into Congress 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 KirkGOP lawmaker: 'Republicans were wrong’ to block Garland VA secretary comes under fire for comparing wait times to Disneyland Juan Williams: Electoral map looks grim for Trump MORE (R-Ill.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Marco RubioMarco RubioNorth Korean official calls Trump idea of meeting 'nonsense' Senate candidate taunts Sanders: Why don't you endorse Alan Grayson? Carson: 'I would not want to be on the ticket or in the Cabinet’ MORE (R-Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenDems: Warren ready to get off sidelines Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Senators approve shift in funding to ease airport wait times MORE (D-N.H.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenators take aim at 'armies of zombie computers' Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Dem blocks GOP senator from moving district judges MORE (D-R.I.) and Roger WickerRoger WickerGOP senators: Obama bathroom guidance is 'not appropriate' Senate Republicans ask Trump to soften his tone Immigration groups bring taco bowls to GOP lawmakers MORE (R-Miss.).

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