Trump's State Department won't carry out sanctions against Russia

This has been brought up in other threads, but I thought it deserved its own. The State Department sent a message to Congress yesterday informing them that they wouldn’t be imposing any sanctions as authorized in last year’s Sanctions Act, passed in an overwhelming display of bipartisanship and signed into law by Trump.

The State Dept claims that the threat of sanctions has already worked, problem solved, no reason to actually implement any.

Cynics, of course, suggest that this is clear evidence that Trump is compromised and is defying congress in order to protect Russian interests.
I’m inclined to side with the cynics but I’ll admit that this is a complicated bill and I’m open to the possibility that the State Department is being forthright. What’s the straight dope?

If the administration had an ounce of credibility, then I’d be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Absent that, I’m going to assume nefarious motives unless other data comes forward. It’s just too convenient that every country other than Russia is cheating us, stealing from us or a shithole. Russia appears to have gained favored status for no public reason.
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Considering that the State Department at the moment pretty much consists of Rexxon Tillerson and his one spokeswoman sidekick, and considering where Tillerson’s corporate interests and loyalties lie (operative word, “lie”) in connection with Russian interests, I’d say the chances that the State Department is “being forthright” is virtually nil.

God, I loath this administration and the gutless quisling congressworms.

So, can we impeach Tillerson?

And yes, I know that he’s considerably smarter and saner than the man who appointed him. Still.

Bear in mind that Exxon was denied a waiver from the 2014 sanctions against Russia in April 2017.

The current sanctions have to do with arms sales, and the waiver may have as much to do with keeping good relations with the buyers (e.g., India) than with Russia. And for what it’s worth, the State Department did comply with a separate requirement to publish some list of Russian oligarchs, which Putin got upset about.

LOL, which they later admitted was lifted from Forbes Magazine. For what it’s worth, indeed.

Any federal officer can be impeached. Most impeachments have been of federal judges, but cabinet officers have been too.

Still essentially a billion-dollar fine, according to the Guardian.

Does it even matter if they’re being forthright or not? Congress passed it, the president signed it, end of story.

Is there something in the bill that says the State Department has the final say?

So what? Refer to davidm’s post above for the rest of what I was going to say.

The State Dept. is part of the Executive Branch. If The Howling Yam doesn’t wish to enforce the sanctions, that’s his call.
Much like Obama and selective immigration enforcement. Which was a so-called example of Executive overreach.

That’s a good point. In normal times, it might serve as a fair explanation. It’s the Russian cutout in the Oval Office that makes this so egregious in our current time. Context matters, as I know you understand.

More a Great Debate than a discussion of Elections.

[ /Moderating ]

If a Democrat had done this, we’d already be in the middle of impeachment proceedings.

With attendant hand-wringing and flag-wrapping.

Facebook did ban Bitcoin ads and it seems pretty certain that both Russia and North Korea are using cryptocoins to circumvent sanctions.

I personally suspect that the Bitcoin surge a month or two ago was a pump and dump by Russia.

Banning the ads on Facebook is probably about as good a sanction as one could do at this point.

But also probably unrelated to the Trump administration. (One can hope that someone in the Senate Intelligence Committee or one of the Intelligence services asked Facebook to do it.)