WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), member of the House China Task Force, Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Lance Gooden (R-TX), sent a letter urging Secretaries Mike Pompeo and Steven Mnuchin to impose Magnitsky Sanctions on seven Chinese Communist Party Officials for gross human rights abuse, and negligent and hostile behavior that greatly increased the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 14, 2020, the Global Times, a state-owned propaganda outlet, reported that Communist Party Officials plan to impose “severe consequences” that will, “impact the upcoming November elections,” on Reps. Banks, Gooden and Crenshaw, for their work to hold the Chinese regime accountable for its coronavirus cover-up.
Said Rep. Banks: “The Chinese regime’s open threat to interfere in American elections is just the latest of many aggressive, hostile actions. It is desperate to avoid responsibility, so it has reverted to desperate tactics. I’m neither surprised nor intimidated--I’m encouraged. I know Secretary Pompeo shares my dim view of the Communist Party, and I look forward to working with him, and Reps. Crenshaw and Gooden to hold Party officials accountable. Starting with the seven on that list, who have significantly harmed the global economy and contributed to the deaths of countless American and Chinese citizens.”
Said Rep. Crenshaw: “Applying Global Magnitsky sanctions to these Chinese Communist Party bad actors is a common sense step and within the original intent of the Magnitsky Act – punishing those who conduct gross human rights abuses and benefit from corruption. Unlike the CCP’s threats to sanction me, and other Members of Congress, we have a leg to stand on. The communist regime concealed vital information and allowed this pandemic to spread, which cost countless American lives and livelihoods. Now it is time for them to face the consequences.”
Said Rep. Gooden: “If the actions of these individuals aren’t enough to earn a spot on the ‘Magnitsky List’, then I just don’t know what is. We are talking about the people who are directly responsible for downplaying the virus and suppressing the voices of those who rang the alarms. Such egregious violations of global human rights are exactly the kind of thing we should be using this authority to address."
Secretary Pompeo, when asked about the Global Times’ report in a Saturday interview with Breitbart Radio, said, “the Chinese Communist Party understands the risk that they’ve put on top of their own nation…. Once they know they have done things that are wrong, they strike out.” Secretary Pompeo added, “We have been clear—President Trump, myself, the State Department—have been clear about making sure that everyone understands the facts surrounding the Chinese Communist Party.”
Rep. Banks introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that makes clear that the Chinese government is ultimately responsible for our current pandemic. That resolution has 54 co-sponsors.
Rep. Banks was the first lawmaker to suggest China should pay reparations for the damage being done to individual lives and the U.S. economy. He posited China cancelling the $1 trillion in U.S. debt they hold, adding additional tariffs to Chinese imports and bringing a case against China in the International Court of Justice.