On June 29, House Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) tries to further stall a Senate-approved bill in the House that would require congressional approval before the President can remove or alter sanctions on Russia. Sessions’ father, William Sessions, works as an attorney and lobbyist for Semion Mogilevich in Moscow.
The first version of the bill passed the Senate with 98% support earlier in June, but Donald Trump’s White House urged Republican House members to “stop it, slow it, weaken it, dilute it” the following week.
The new version of the bill that Sessions hopes to block has already been tweaked by the Senate, but Sessions claims that sections 216 and 223 could “put American energy companies at a disadvantage.”
Section 216 is the bulk of the bill; it requires congressional approval before letting Russia off its already-short leash. It is completely unrelated to American energy.
Section 223 prohibits any American person or group from overseas operations that involve Russian energy companies, companies like the Russian state-run Gazprom or RUE. Both companies are directly tied to the Semion Mogilevich Organization.
A thinner version of the bill passes Congress and is signed into law by Trump on August 3, 2017.
Photograph (Left): U.S. Congress / Public Domain
Photograph (Right): Copyright Unknown