140 House Dems urge Trump to impose Russia sanctions

140 House Dems urge Trump to impose Russia sanctions
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A group of 140 House Democrats on Monday wrote to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE to urge him to impose sanctions on Russia in response to its interference campaign in the 2016 election.

“Your actions over the last year have shown that you will constantly excuse President [Vladimir] Putin and deny his well established assistance to your campaign in 2016,” the letter states.

“With this latest action, you are ignoring the law and the prerogatives of a coequal branch of government and letting Russia know you will do nothing to stop additional interference in our elections,” it continues. 

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Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation House Democrats pull subpoena for ex-Trump national security official MORE (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led Democrats in the letter in calling for Trump to implement sanctions that Congress overwhelmingly approved last year.

The deadline to implement those sanctions came and went in January. The Trump administration reasoned that there was no need to impose the sanctions because the threat of sanctions served as enough of a deterrent.

The decision drew blowback from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who called the decision "perplexing" and "disappointing."

The U.S. intelligence community has established that Russia attempted to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE filed charges last month against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations in connection to that influence campaign.

The Trump administration has continued to face criticism from lawmakers after multiple intelligence officials said they expect Russia to try and interfere in this year's midterm elections. Some officials have said they believe the response to prevent such interference needs to be more robust.

Trump has vowed to counteract any Russian meddling efforts "very strongly."