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House lawmakers ask Trump for probe into Russian poisoning case

The Associated Press reports:

The top Democrat and the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are together calling on President Donald Trump to investigate whether chemical weapons were used by Russia in the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told Trump in a letter Monday that they are “deeply concerned” by reports that Navalny was poisoned in August with a chemical nerve agent. The two lawmakers are pushing for a formal U.S. investigation into whether Russia violated international law or used a lethal weapon against one of its own nationals — a request they say triggers a required 60-day evaluation period under U.S. chemical weapons law.

Navalny, a high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany last month after falling ill on an airplane flight in Russia. German chemical weapons experts say tests showed the 44-year-old was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

Engel and McCaul urged Trump to enact additional sanctions on Russia if it’s determined that chemical weapons were used against Navalny.

“Those responsible for this despicable attack must be held accountable, and Russian President Vladimir Putin must know that he and his cronies will not be allowed to violate international law with impunity,” the two men wrote. [Continue reading…]

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