The United States has received "vital" intelligence about the war in Ukraine thanks to security legislation that allows the government to collect foreign communications through communications without a warrant.
This was stated on Wednesday by US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ukrinform reports citing CNN.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act gives the US government the ability to obtain information about non-Americans abroad who use US communications services.
"When it comes to this conflict and what Russia is doing in Ukraine, it has proven to be vital," Monaco said. Section 702 of the law "has helped us uncover horrific atrocities in Ukraine, including the killing of civilians, the forced transfer of children from Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine to Russia, and the detention of refugees fleeing violence by the Russian military," she said.
The information that the department received thanks to the law "has helped us as a country and as a national security community to intensify efforts to bring perpetrators to justice with respect to Ukraine, allowing us to speak confidently and accurately to the international community about Russian atrocities," Monaco emphasized.
She also expressed concern that in some areas the Ministry of Justice lacks the resources and authority to take more decisive action against Russia.
She emphasized that the department is conducting "active investigations" into crimes committed during the war, which are "moving as quickly as possible," and hopes to work with Congress to give federal prosecutors jurisdiction over "crimes against humanity."
"We cannot - and will not - allow war criminals to escape accountability for the aggression and atrocities they have committed in Ukraine," she added.-
Monaco also said that the US government is considering using the money of Russian oligarchs frozen by the Justice Department to support Ukraine.
According to her, more than half a billion dollars in assets of oligarchs and individuals who support the Russian government and evade US sanctions have been frozen. However, the department can only seize and transfer Russian assets that were obtained through certain types of sanctions evasion, Monaco said.
This means that "millions" of dollars cannot be transferred to Ukraine, she explained.
"We will leave money on the table if our capabilities are not expanded...," the deputy attorney general said, adding that the DOJ wants Congress to give her agency the authority "so we can make the oligarchs pay for Ukraine's recovery.-
The Congress continues to debate the feasibility of extending the law, which expires at the end of 2023.
Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 20/04/2023