Durbin Delivers Opening Statement At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Seizing Illicit Assets Of Russian Oligarchs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered an opening statement during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “KleptoCapture: Aiding Ukraine through Forfeiture of Russian Oligarchs’ Illicit Assets.”

Key Quotes:

“Today’s hearing focuses on an important tool for holding Vladimir Putin and his corrupt allies accountable after Russia’s unprovoked, illegal invasion of Ukraine: seizing the illicit assets of Russia’s oligarchs and ensuring that those proceeds are aiding the people of Ukraine.”

“For nearly five months, the world has borne witness to Russia’s aggression and war crimes against the Ukrainian people…Few expected Ukraine to withstand the assault for this long…The amazing courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people has really not only kept them in the fight, in many respects they are prevailing though there is still a long battle ahead.”

“Free nations around the world have united in support of this courage, imposing unprecedented sanctions on Putin and his corrupt allies. I saw this unity first-hand just recently when I visited Lithuania, Sweden, and the NATO Summit in Madrid. With every world leader I spoke to there was common purpose and resolve to hold Vladimir Putin personally accountable.”

“Here at home, we have to redouble our efforts to investigate and prosecute war criminals.”

“We need to strengthen our laws so that perpetrators of war crimes will never find sanctuary in the United States. That is why Ranking Member Grassley and I have introduced, along with our colleagues Senators Graham and Leahy, the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act.”

“I applaud the Department of Justice for launching the KleptoCapture Task Force to target those who support and enable Russia’s war of aggression. This task force is leveraging all the Department’s existing tools and authorities against those who would evade or undermine the economic actions taken by the U.S. government in response to Russian aggression.”

“Think about what we’re being asked to do – have a hearing, pass a law, execute policies that make a difference. And now think of the sacrifices being made by the Ukrainian people. They are literally offering up their lives every single day in this cause.”

“We shouldn’t be the ones that are suffering battle fatigue. They certainly aren’t. We shouldn’t be the ones with a limited attention span. They have to be wary every single moment of the possibility of death to defend their homeland. Can we do anything less than stand by them and give them all of our support.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.