This post was written by Connor Balough
(Washington, DC) — Following intelligence reports that RT News operates as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has introduced legislation that gives the Department of Justice new authority to investigate potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by RT America.
“We have good reason to believe that RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process,” said Shaheen. “The American public has a right to know if this is the case. RT News has made public statements boasting that it can dodge our laws with shell corporations, and it’s time for the Department of Justice to investigate. My bill provides the authority needed to request documentation of RT News and find out who they’re accountable to.”
The Director of National Intelligence’s recent report titled Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections concluded that RT News officials have structured their affiliate organizations to deliberately circumvent U.S. reporting and disclosure requirements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Senator Shaheen’s Foreign Agents Registration Modernization and Enforcement Act gives the Department of Justice new authority to compel organizations like RT America to produce documentation on funding sources and foreign connections.
in retaiation, the Russian parliament has announced it plans to investigate CNN, the Voice of America, and other U.S. media outlets “for compliance of their activities with Russian legislation,” according to a statement made by the parliament on its website Friday.
The State Duma, the lower house in the Russian parliament, ordered on Friday an investigation into whether U.S. media organizations operating in Russia are breaking any of the nation’s laws, according to a report by USA Today.
The investigation would be carried out by the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, a committee in the State Duma. According to multiple reports, CNN, Radio Liberty, and the Voice of America were singled out by the parliament, but other “U.S. media” will be investigated as well.
The Russian parliament’s decision came just two days after U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told NBC News that Russian threats must be taken “seriously” and emphatically stated the Russian government is untrustworthy.
“We cannot trust Russia,” Haley said on Wednesday. “We should never trust Russia.”
Haley’s comments were made in response to news the Department of Justice issued charges against two Russian spies on Wednesday for their alleged role in the theft of data belonging to more than 500 million Yahoo users.