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April 20, 2021 (AmericanThinker) – On April 15, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation. Contrary to its title, this Executive Order (EO) is not about Russia. It is designed to allow the Biden administration to deprive American citizens and organizations of their rights and property by arbitrarily linking those persons to real, imagined, or vaguely defined activities of the Russian government.
The Biden administration unilaterally makes the determination and requires neither criminal acts nor intent. The punishment is blocking assets and a prohibition on any dealing with the accused person. Spouses and adult children of individuals found guilty by accusation under this EO are punished, too.
The EO was preceded by some distracting manoeuvres, both diplomatic (hostile rhetoric toward Russia) and military (sending naval ships toward the Black Sea and recalling them back, as if dealing with Russian threats). Thus, many people assumed that the EO was directed at Russia, and completely missed the fact that it is directed at dissent here, at home.
Over the past four years, the Democrat Party, Fake News, and Big Tech have been frequently portraying their opponents as Russian trolls or Russian misinformation operators. The Russian collusion narrative, initially invented to overthrow the Trump administration, has been used to smear many conservative movements. Now this effort has been crowned by an Executive Order.
Biden’s administration has been recently pushing so many other radical changes, such as packing the Supreme Court, eliminating the filibuster, restricting Second Amendment rights, etc., that the real ramifications of this new EO went completely unnoticed. In my opinion, this EO is the most dangerous of them all. It allows the Biden regime to eliminate its opposition, quickly and quietly.
Section 1 of the EO enumerates prohibited activities and defines guilty persons as those “determined” by the Secretary of Treasury and/or Secretary of State in consultation with the Attorney General to be:
(a)(ii) responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, any of the following for or on behalf of, or for the benefit of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation:
(A) malicious cyber-enabled activities;
(B) interference in a United States or other foreign government election;
(C) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad;
(D) transnational corruption;
Some of the language in this EO borrows from another: EO-13224 – Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism. George W. Bush signed EO-13224 on September 23, 2001, in response to 9/11.
However, Biden’s EO is as similar to Bush’s EO as an atomic bomb is to a sniper rifle. Bush’s EO targeted financing terrorism. It defined terrorism clearly and narrowly. It minimized legal jeopardy to US persons. It did not strip away the standard for criminal liability requirements of action and intent. It did not target spouses or children of accused individuals. Additionally, Bush made a legally meaningful promise to use it with due regard to culpability and the Bush administration used it with restraint. Even so, Democrats criticized it harshly, opposed it, and fought it in courts.
In contrast, Biden’s new EO is directed mostly at US persons. It criminalizes speech and political activities, based on whimsical and arbitrary definitions. The Biden administration can define “malicious activities,” “democratic processes or institutions,” and the activities that undermine them as it wants.
The Biden administration is also free to interpret what constitutes “interests of the Russian Government.” Such broad and vague language allows the Biden regime to select US citizens and political organizations arbitrarily, and then deprive them of their property and rights without anything reminiscent of due process. The EO does not even require that anybody commit an actual crime somewhere. False cyber-attribution or fake bounty claims are sufficient. Biden’s remarks to the EO showed no regard to the culpability of any targeted US citizens or other persons.
Leftist pseudo-elites have been eager to ban speech based on allegations that such speech may be beneficial to Russia. Such ideation has been present among Big Tech influencers for a long time. This EO effectively gives Big Tech, banks, and credit card companies a new pretext to deplatform conservatives and anyone else who opposes the Biden regime by claiming that they are now engaged in illegal activity.
Biden’s EO appears to allow the Democrat party to deny Americans the right to advocate against it in future federal elections. This might be accomplished through a “determination” that Russia is interfering in elections against democratic candidates. Thus, any US citizens who also oppose Democrats could be found to acting for Russia’s benefit, directly or indirectly.
The list of prohibited activities justifying a Biden administration “determination” to deprive American persons of their property and other rights (referred to here as a “Deprived Person”) states:
House Democrats, in a strict party-line vote, recently passed legislation to conduct a massive federal overhaul of America’s elections and voting protocols, making the inconsistency, confusion, and funny business that plagued 2020 the new, permanent norm in our country.
The bill is called H.R. 1 (also known, ironically, as the “For the People” Act), and, if passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate, will mark the beginning of a once-in-a-generation transfer of power from the people of our country to its politicians.
That’s we must act NOW, and implore our U.S. Senators to vote against this dangerous legislation when it comes before them for a vote.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking all U.S. Senators to oppose H.R. 1 as a matter of national importance.
Democrat sponsors have attempted to promote H.R. 1 as a bill to expand voting rights in America, but, in reality, it is the exact opposite.
Among the 791-page bill’s provisions are the following:
- Transfer of control over congressional elections from state governments to the federal government, even though the Constitution explicitly states that such authority belongs solely to states.
- Automatic voter registration, which would require every state to add all eligible citizens to their voting rolls (unless they manually opt out) under the law. This would, additionally, shield illegal aliens who are automatically registered to vote from prosecution, without making an affirmative declaration about the status of their citizenship.
- Mandatory early voting in all 50 states for at least 15 days prior to an actual election, as well as unlimited ballot harvesting and a 10-day deadline extension past an election for mail-in ballots to be received and processed.
- Mandatory, nationwide mail-in voting, without any requirement that individuals provide a form of personal identification upon applying for their mail-in ballot. This would also require that those individuals who request a mail-in ballot be automatically registered to receive mail-in ballots in every election to follow.
- Transfer of control over drawing congressional district maps from each individual state’s legislature to “independent” commissions – another power reserved, in the Constitution, for states specifically.
- Federal funding of campaigns, which would use taxpayer dollars to match campaign contributions made by Americans citizens to candidates for federal office at a rate of 600% (you read that right – your money, being used to fund campaigns and candidates you may not support, nor even have the chance to actually to vote for).
And, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
If H.R. 1 passes the Senate and goes to Joe Biden’s desk, the American people may never participate in a free, open, and fair election ever again.
It is, therefore, imperative that we act to save our Republic from this disastrous legislation NOW.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition which urges all U.S. Senators to oppose the anti-democratic piece of legislation, H.R. 1, today.
And, after signing this petition, please CLICK HERE to DIRECTLY CONTACT your U.S. Senators by using the simple contact form LifeSite is providing, here. It is a simple, one-click process, and you don't even have to look up any of your Senators' contact information.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Here’s the anti-people agenda of HR 1 on election reform' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/heres-the-anti-people-agenda-of-hr-1-on-election-reform
'Democrats’ horrifying ‘For the People’ Act would supercharge vote fraud, end America' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/democrats-horrifying-for-the-people-act-would-supercharge-vote-fraud-end-america
'The Democrats’ ‘For the People’ Act would make it impossible to hold free and fair elections in America' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/democrats-are-pushing-the-for-the-people-act-in-attempt-to-make-impossible-to-hold-free-and-fair-elections-in-america
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[a] (iii) to be or have been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of:
… (C) an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;
For comparison, Bush’s EO only covered the leaders of terrorist-supporting entities, not multiple officials, executives, or directors.
Unprecedently, Biden’s EO targets children and spouses:
[a] (v) to be a spouse or adult child of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (a)(ii) or (iii) of this section;
and countless associations:
[a] (vi) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of:
(A) any activity described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section; or
(B) any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order …
[a] (vii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, … any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
Notice the infinite reach these subsections afford. Those connected to a “Deprived Person” can receive the same designation, and so on. There is no limit to the number of iterations.
“Deprived Persons” essentially become untouchables, as dealing with them in any way is expressly prohibited without additional determinations:
Sec. 2. The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include:
(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Giving legal representation, hosting the website, selling food, and giving medical care to a “Deprived Person” is automatically prohibited. Section 4 prohibits transactions that “cause a violation” of this EO, even absent intent or knowledge. This serves as a hint to pre-emptively cut ties with anyone the Biden regime targets.
Section 9 exempts UN bodies and “related organizations” (NGOs) from any responsibility for interfering in US elections and other activities under this order.
The Russian Federation is mixed into the EO only for distraction and as a primer, triggering expanding layers of culpability.
I do not expect any putative human rights organizations or large media outlets to hold the Biden regime accountable for how it applies this EO or to defend its victims. So far, these outlets have either ignored it or defended it.
Published with permission from the American Thinker.