By executive order, President Donald Trump allowed the federal government to freeze the assets of foreign individuals or entities that the government believes are “serious human rights abusers." In addition, the executive order allows freezing the assets belonging to foreign government officials and executives of foreign corporations (current or former) deemed to have participated in corruption, including misappropriation of government assets, expropriation of private assets for personal gain, and corruption in government contracts or in the extraction of natural resources. 

The order also allows freezing the assets of anyone in the United States or aids or participates in corrupt practices or human rights abuses by foreign individuals or entities. This would include American corporations found to employ foreigners who are deemed to have engaged in corruption on behalf of U.S.-based corporations.

Clinton associates face frozen assets

The Executive Order would freeze the assets anyone who has "materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services" to foreigners targeted by the Executive Order. Based on the 2016 Global Human Rights Accountability Act, the EO added 13 foreigners to a list of "Specially Designated Nationals" (SDN) that is held the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Several of these persons have been tied to Hillary and Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, or persons associated with the Clintons. The Department of Treasury has issued sanctions on another 39 people. The total of 52 such foreigners contemplated by the EO includes the son of Russia's current prosecutor general. 

The order may have ramifications for lobbyists representing countries that have been found to engage in serious human rights abuses.

“Today, the United States is taking a strong stand against human rights abuse and corruption globally by shutting these bad actors out of the U.S. financial system.  Treasury is freezing their assets and publicly denouncing the egregious acts they’ve committed, sending a message that there is a steep price to pay for their misdeeds,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin upon the release of the EO.  “At the direction of President Trump, Treasury and our interagency partners will continue to take decisive and impactful actions to hold accountable those who abuse human rights, perpetrate corruption, and undermine American ideals.”

The Executive Order reads, in part: 

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, such as those committed or directed by persons listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems.

According to a report by The Hill, Russian officials sent millions of dollars to benefit the Clinton Foundation while then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on the committee formed by various federal departments and agencies that ultimately allowed Rosatom -- the Russian nuclear energy agency -- to purchase Uranium One, which in turn controlled 20 percent of the uranium supply in the United States. Author Peter Schweitzer wrote in Clinton Cash that Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech he gave in Russia about that time. The New York Times also reported on this in 2015. That Russians were compromising American nuclear contractors with payoffs and extortion threats was not considered when the Obama administration approved the sale of Uranium One, according to The Hill.

Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson reported earlier this year that The Podesta Group and Tony Podesta cooperated with the Clinton Foundation at that time to discuss the Uranium One sale. John Podesta -- Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chair and Tony Podesta’s brother -- recommended that The Podesta Group should hire Clinton’s chief advisor, David Adams, as a liaison between the Clinton’s State Department and the Russians.

Uranium One

Of concern to the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation is that should the Trump administration deem the Uranium One as corrupt, the new Executive Order could be used to freeze the assets of a number of persons associated with the deal. Assets, under the EO, can be frozen with no prior warning because Trump has declared a national emergency due to the "scope and gravity" of the threat posed by persons associated with corruption. 

In the EO, Section 6 defines "'person'" as "an individual or entity," and defines "'entity'" as a "partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization.” In addition, it defines “‘United States person’” as “any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.” These definitions would thus include current and former U.S. officials, as well as businesses and nonprofits.

Section 1 (a)(i-ii) of the EO, which outlines the foreigners that are contemplated, applies to any property on American soil that belongs to foreigners can be frozen. Those foreigners include "any foreign persons" deemed by the Treasury secretary to be: "responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse," "current or former government official or a persons acting for or on behalf of such an official" complicit in or engaged in, "corruption...misappropriation of state assets...expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery."

The EO also defines "corruption" to include "the transfer or the facilitation of the transfer of the proceeds of corruption." The EO would also sanction any current or former leader of any foreign entity who has engaged in "serious human rights abuse" or any of the above-described corruption. Any who has "attempted to engage" in the above-described activities is included in the EO.

As for U.S. citizens, the EO covers anyone in the United States who has "materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of" the crimes committed by foreigners as described above. The EO also encompasses anyone living in the U.S. who has assisted any entity employing a foreigner engaged in the crimes mentioned above, or has done work for anyone applicable in this EO, and anyone who has attempted to commit the acts described above.

There are thirteen foreigners named by the EO whose assets are to be frozen. Some of them have ties to the Clinton Foundation. 

1. Mukhtar Hamid Shah; Date of Birth (DOB) August 11, 1939; alt. DOB November 8, 1939; nationality, Pakistan

2. Angel Rondon Rijo; DOB July 16, 1950; nationality, Dominican Republic

3. Dan Gertler; DOB December 23, 1973; nationality, Israel; alt. nationality, Democratic Republic of the Congo

4. Maung Maung Soe; DOB March 1964; nationality, Burma

5. Yahya Jammeh; DOB May 25, 1965; nationality, The Gambia

6. Sergey Kusiuk; DOB December 1, 1966; nationality, Ukraine; alt. nationality, Russia

7. Benjamin Bol Mel; DOB January 3, 1978; alt. DOB December 24, 1978; nationality, South Sudan; alt. nationality, Sudan

8. Julio Antonio Juárez Ramírez; DOB December 1, 1980; nationality, Guatemala

9. Goulnora Islamovna Karimova; DOB July 8, 1972; nationality, Uzbekistan

10. Slobodan Tesic; DOB December 21, 1958; nationality, Serbia

11. Artem Yuryevich Chayka; DOB September 25, 1975; nationality, Russia

12. Gao Yan; DOB April 1963; nationality, China

13. Roberto Jose Rivas Reyes; DOB July 6, 1954; nationality, Nicaragua

Goulnara Islamovna Karimova

Goulnara Islamovna Karimova, 45, is the estranged daughter of former Uzbekistan leader Islam Karimov. She amassed a fortune of more than $500 million through corrupt practices in a country that engaged in serial, serious human rights abuses. During the Obama administration, reports of human rights abuses were recorded by the CIA. This year, the Department of Justice has sought $850 million in bribe money paid from European bank accounts to Karimova for entry into Uzbekistan’s telecom market. Karimova has been arrested on a variety of charges that include fraud, money laundering, bribery, and embezzlement. A State Department cable, released by WikiLeaks in 2009, indicates that the attractive Karimova sought to persuade Bill Clinton to provide access to then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. In 2012, Karimova was a co-sponsor of a 2012 Clinton Foundation fundraiser in Monaco. 

Artem Yuryevich Chayka

Artem Yuryevich Chayka (42) is the son of Russian state Prosecutor General Yuri Chayka who is believed to have used corrupt methods to gain government contracts. Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya met with Yuri Chayka before her involvement in the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in 2016 that was orchestrated by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone. That meeting may have been used as justification by the Obama administration to conduct surveillance on the Trump political organization. In addition, Fusion GPS was contracted by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to produce the salacious, uncorroborated dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump. 

Yahya Jammeh

Yahya Jammeh is the former president of The Gambia who came to power in 1994 in the West African nation and stepped down in 2017. His abuse of basic human rights include the creation of a cadre of terrorists and assassins that threatened, terrorized, and killed anyone he believed to be an enemy. He also plundered government funds for his own gain, taking as much as $50 million in state funds. The federal government has named Africada Airways, Kanilai Group International, Kanilai Worni Family Farms Ltd, Royal Africa Capital Holding Ltd, Africada Financial Service & Bureau de Change Ltd, Africada Micro-Finance Ltd, Africada Insurance Company, Kora Media Corporation Ltd, Atlantic Pelican Company Ltd, Palm Grove Africa Dev’t Corp. Ltd, Patriot Insurance Brokers Co. Ltd, and Royal Africa Securities Brokerage Co Ltd as entities of concern. Jammeh was welcomed at the White House in 2014 by Barack Obama.

Dan Gertler

Dan Gertler is an Israeli billionaire businessman who has earned a fortune in mining and oil in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Using his ties to DRC President Joseph Kabila, corporations must go through Gertler to do business in the DRC. In 2010 and 2012, the DRC reportedly lost over $1.36 billion in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler. Gertler is tied to Clinton associate Marc Rich through Fleurette Properties Limited. Fleurette, in turn, is tied to Glencore: a commodities investment firm developed by Rich. Rich was pardoned by Bill Clinton on the last day of the latter's presidency. Rich thus avoided federal prosecution for his role in trading oil and commodities with Iran during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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