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White House proposes plan to sell Russian yachts for Ukraine aid

Chomsky

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The White House unveiled a proposed legislative package on Thursday that would allow the federal government to sell assets seized from Russian oligarchs over the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine and use the proceeds for military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
It includes provisions that would streamline the process for seizing oligarchs' assets, expand the assets subject to seizure and clamp down on certain sanction evasion loopholes.

--

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

--


I get extremely concerned whenever our government decides to seize private assets, in the name of 'good intentions'. I think all of us should!

So, what about this specific situation? On the surface, it seems like a good cause. But, so do many others; and we've seen how that goes!

In all fairness, I think a legislative bill specific to this particular incidence might be appropriate. But I would not sign-off on a general bill, open to future application in other instances. That's too slippery of a slope - for me!
 

Roadvirus

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While i totally support this, I read somewhere (Politico possibly) that there were international law issues regarding this subject.
 

lwf

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--

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

--


I get extremely concerned whenever our government decides to seize private assets, in the name of 'good intentions'. I think all of us should!

So, what about this specific situation? On the surface, it seems like a good cause. But, so do many others; and we've seen how that goes!

In all fairness, I think a legislative bill specific to this particular incidence might be appropriate. But I would not sign-off on a general bill, open to future application in other instances. That's too slippery of a slope - for me!

I agree with your concern. I'm fine with the government seizing and selling the property of people I hate, but they better not ever do it to me or my friends!

That said, in this particular situation, seizing the property of a criminal, liquidating it, and using the proceeds to assist his victim sounds like it would be a good use case. There certainly needs to be very carefully considered checks and balances if this is a power we want to grant the government.
 

Chomsky

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While i totally support this, I read somewhere (Politico possibly) that there were international law issues regarding this subject.

Interesting. You may be right, though I'm not sure how binding or enforceable International Law may be.
 

Rexedgar

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Interesting. You may be right, though I'm not sure how binding or enforceable International Law may be.
What law(s) are applicable in the seizures?
 

Chomsky

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I agree with your concern. I'm fine with the government seizing and selling the property of people I hate, but they better not ever do it to me or my friends!

Mine should be a high concern for all.

N.B. The War on Drugs!

That said, in this particular situation, seizing the property of a criminal, liquidating it, and using the proceeds to assist his victim sounds like it would be a good use case. There certainly needs to be very carefully considered checks and balances if this is a power we want to grant the government.

Agreed to both your premises in the above paragraph.

Which is why I'm fine with legislation for this specific incident, but not general legislation for future use. Let Congress debate it each time, rather than an administration using an administrative action.
 
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LouC

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--

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

--


I get extremely concerned whenever our government decides to seize private assets, in the name of 'good intentions'. I think all of us should!

So, what about this specific situation? On the surface, it seems like a good cause. But, so do many others; and we've seen how that goes!

In all fairness, I think a legislative bill specific to this particular incidence might be appropriate. But I would not sign-off on a general bill, open to future application in other instances. That's too slippery of a slope - for me!
Cool. If they are in US waters they should be boarded and seized by the Coast Guard as I am betting each one could have something about it that is illegal.
 

TU Curmudgeon

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--

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

--


I get extremely concerned whenever our government decides to seize private assets, in the name of 'good intentions'. I think all of us should!

So, what about this specific situation? On the surface, it seems like a good cause. But, so do many others; and we've seen how that goes!

In all fairness, I think a legislative bill specific to this particular incidence might be appropriate. But I would not sign-off on a general bill, open to future application in other instances. That's too slippery of a slope - for me!
"Sequester and protect then dispose of in accordance with the established tenets of civil/criminal law after a trial in which the owner is entitled to make full answer and defence", I have no real issue with.

Seize based on politically motivated accusation, sell without allowing the owner to have any say in the matter, and then retain the proceeds", I have a real issue with.

Let's take a really silly example.

The government of Canada gets REALLY ticked off when the President of the United States of America sends the USMC into a section of some Central American country (República de Nuevo Plátano) that has seceded in order to "restore order and protect freedom as requested by the government of the country". In response to that action, the government of Canada imposes sanctions on all American owned corporations in Canada and then sells them to Canadian owners (at bargain basement prices) in order to use the sale proceeds to "assist the government of República de Nuevo Plátano to preserve its historic territorial integrity".​

Now, what is the actual (other than identity and scale) difference between that and the US government seizing and selling personal assets of non-Americans because the government of the country that those non-Americans are citizens of has done something that the US government doesn't approve?
 

TU Curmudgeon

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Interesting. You may be right, though I'm not sure how binding or enforceable International Law may be.
International law is as binding on "Country A" vs. "Country B" as "Country A" feels like letting it be and/or as "Country B" can ram it down the throat of "Country A".
 

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sounds like poker. putting pressure on the Elons of Russia to do something.
 

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EXPLAINER: Why US Needs a Law to Sell off Oligarchs' Assets​

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden doesn't want to just seize the yachts, luxury homes and other assets of Russian oligarchs, he wants to sell off the pricey goods and use the money to help rebuild Ukraine.

He's asking Congress to streamline the process to allow that to happen.

In the latest attempt to pressure Russia to end its war and to pay for the enormous costs of defending Ukraine, the Biden administration on Thursday called on Congress to enhance U.S. authority to liquidate assets seized from Russian elites — the “bad guys,” as Biden called them.

A look at what's afoot:

WHAT'S ALREADY BEING DONE?
The House on Wednesday passed the Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act, with only four lawmakers voting against the measure. The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would allow the president to confiscate and liquidate property owned by sanctioned individuals. The money could only be used for specific purposes.
The package that Biden sent to Congress goes further to create a new criminal offense, making it unlawful for anyone to knowingly own proceeds directly obtained from corrupt dealings with the Russian government. Additionally, property used to facilitate sanctions violations would also be eligible for seizure.
The White House says the new tools make sanctions more difficult to evade and the administration said it wants to use the money “to remediate harms of Russian aggression toward Ukraine.”
WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT NEED LEGISLATION?
Under current federal law, only the Justice Department has the authority to determine how seized funds can be spent. And there are strict rules on who can benefit from seized proceeds. The Biden administration wants to make it easier for officials to decide how to use the proceeds of the blocked and seized property.

The White House proposal also wants to make forfeiture decisions reviewable in federal court on an expedited basis.
Ryan Fayhee, a former Justice Department prosecutor who now works in private practice on sanctions cases, said that because of the nature of the U.S. sanctions program, “we could see a lot of lawsuits as there’s a process one could take to challenge the forfeiture itself and they absolutely will,” anticipating sanctioned oligarchs' future litigation.

Much more at link:
 

Chomsky

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EXPLAINER: Why US Needs a Law to Sell off Oligarchs' Assets​

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden doesn't want to just seize the yachts, luxury homes and other assets of Russian oligarchs, he wants to sell off the pricey goods and use the money to help rebuild Ukraine.

He's asking Congress to streamline the process to allow that to happen.

In the latest attempt to pressure Russia to end its war and to pay for the enormous costs of defending Ukraine, the Biden administration on Thursday called on Congress to enhance U.S. authority to liquidate assets seized from Russian elites — the “bad guys,” as Biden called them.

A look at what's afoot:

WHAT'S ALREADY BEING DONE?
The House on Wednesday passed the Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act, with only four lawmakers voting against the measure. The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would allow the president to confiscate and liquidate property owned by sanctioned individuals. The money could only be used for specific purposes.
The package that Biden sent to Congress goes further to create a new criminal offense, making it unlawful for anyone to knowingly own proceeds directly obtained from corrupt dealings with the Russian government. Additionally, property used to facilitate sanctions violations would also be eligible for seizure.
The White House says the new tools make sanctions more difficult to evade and the administration said it wants to use the money “to remediate harms of Russian aggression toward Ukraine.”
WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT NEED LEGISLATION?
Under current federal law, only the Justice Department has the authority to determine how seized funds can be spent. And there are strict rules on who can benefit from seized proceeds. The Biden administration wants to make it easier for officials to decide how to use the proceeds of the blocked and seized property.

The White House proposal also wants to make forfeiture decisions reviewable in federal court on an expedited basis.
Ryan Fayhee, a former Justice Department prosecutor who now works in private practice on sanctions cases, said that because of the nature of the U.S. sanctions program, “we could see a lot of lawsuits as there’s a process one could take to challenge the forfeiture itself and they absolutely will,” anticipating sanctioned oligarchs' future litigation.

Much more at link:

Thanks for your contribution to the thread! (y)
 

ttwtt78640

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Civil asset forfeiture is bad news despite numerous claims as to its good intentions.
 
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Credence

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Thanks for your contribution to the thread! (y)
Thanks, Love to do research. My career was as a Systems Analyst; just my nature. Different but still involved research :)
 

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I agree with your concern. I'm fine with the government seizing and selling the property of people I hate, but they better not ever do it to me or my friends!
A common attitude these days about lots of rights violations.

That said, in this particular situation, seizing the property of a criminal, liquidating it, and using the proceeds to assist his victim sounds like it would be a good use case. There certainly needs to be very carefully considered checks and balances if this is a power we want to grant the government.
How, exactly, has it been legally established beyond a reasonable doubt that the owners of these assets are criminals?
 

ttwtt78640

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A common attitude these days about lots of things.


How, exactly, has it been legally established beyond a reasonable doubt that the owners of these assets are criminals?

That’s the problem with civil asset forfeiture - there’s no need to bring, much less prove, any criminal charge. The basic idea is for the (powerful) government to simply take the asset(s) and then force the (powerless, and likely broke) individual to (somehow) prove (in civil court?) that the asset(s) should not have been taken.
 

lwf

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A common attitude these days about lots of rights violations.

How, exactly, has it been legally established beyond a reasonable doubt that the owners of these assets are criminals?
It should need to be in criminal court if we're talking about civil asset forfeiture of American citizens.

But it has been established that the country of Russia is engaged in criminal activities in Ukraine. I'm ok with Russian sanctions, asset forfeiture, and embargoes on Russian companies and oligarchs, even if they themselves are not the ones actively committing the crimes. The international community isolating a rogue country that is invading its neighbor and violating their human rights by economically squeezing those in power is a sound strategy that I support.
 

ttwtt78640

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It should need to be in criminal court if we're talking about civil asset forfeiture of American citizens.

But it has been established that the country of Russia is engaged in criminal activities in Ukraine. I'm ok with Russian sanctions, asset forfeiture, and embargoes on Russian companies and oligarchs, even if they themselves are not the ones actively committing the crimes. The international community isolating a rogue country that is invading its neighbor and violating their human rights by economically squeezing those in power is a sound strategy that I support.

Are you kidding me? You are OK with taking the assets of citizens or businesses simply because they a residents of an ‘icky’ country?
 

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It should need to be in criminal court if we're talking about civil asset forfeiture of American citizens.
I'm not sure whether the charges are civil or criminal, because AFAIK, there haven't been any actual legal charges. And I doubt they're American citizens.

But it has been established that the country of Russia is engaged in criminal activities in Ukraine. I'm ok with Russian sanctions, asset forfeiture, and embargoes on Russian companies and oligarchs, even if they themselves are not the ones actively committing the crimes. The international community isolating a rogue country that is invading its neighbor and violating their human rights by economically squeezing those in power is a sound strategy that I support.
So interring American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII was OK with you?
 

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--

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

--


I get extremely concerned whenever our government decides to seize private assets, in the name of 'good intentions'. I think all of us should!

So, what about this specific situation? On the surface, it seems like a good cause. But, so do many others; and we've seen how that goes!

In all fairness, I think a legislative bill specific to this particular incidence might be appropriate. But I would not sign-off on a general bill, open to future application in other instances. That's too slippery of a slope - for me!
I agree. Im not a fan of asset forfeiture for individuals. This could go wrong in so many ways if the US government uses the same laws on its own citizens.
 

ttwtt78640

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I'm not sure whether the charges are civil or criminal, because AFAIK, there haven't been any actual legal charges. And I doubt they're American citizens.


So interring American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII was OK with you?

That seems consistent with his guilt by (loose) association concept.
 
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