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Senator Corker announces series of hearings on Russia

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WASHINGTON (WTVC) - Tennessee U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R), along with Idaho U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R) announced Tuesday that the respective committees they chair will hold a series of hearings on Russia. Corker is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Crapo is chair of the Senate Banking Committee.

The hearings will include testimony from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on President Trump’s recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, as well as the administration’s ongoing dialogue with North Korea.

A release from Corker's office quotes the Senator as saying, “We worked closely together to write the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which substantially expanded sanctions on Russia and overwhelmingly passed both the Senate and House last summer, and are eager to continue the important work being done by our committees to push back on Russia.”

Corker's release says the hearings come at the urging of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. They will focus on the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), and will be designed to find things to recommend to the Senate additional measures that could respond to or deter Russian malign behavior.

Corker and Crapo, along with Senators Ben Cardin, D-M.d., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, last summer authored CAATSA, which substantially expanded sanctions against the government of Russia in response to the regime’s violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, interference in elections, and current activities in Syria. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Banking Committee are responsible for the predominant share of sanctions legislation in the Senate.

The first hearing, convened by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is titled “An Update on American Diplomacy to Advance Our National Security Strategy” and is scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, at 2:30 p.m. ET. Secretary Pompeo will testify at that hearing.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is also planning to hold hearings on:

  • the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO);
  • the broad challenges ahead for U.S. policy toward Russia;
  • Russia’s current activities in Syria; and
  • arms control issues, including Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF Treaty).

The Senate Banking Committee is planning to hold hearings on:

  • the implementation of CAATSA and the impact of sanctions; and
  • what other tools can be used beyond CAATSA, if any, to further deter Russia.

Depend on us to keep you posted.