U.S. Congressman, Chris Smith’s Quest for Sanctions on Gov’t Officials Gains Fruit, As Additional Expected Soon
As Liberians await for more sanctions to be imposed by the United States Treasury Department on government officials for their alleged uncontrollable corruption while the majority live in abject poverty, Representative Chris Smith of the State of New Jersey’s 44th District at the United States Congress seems to yield a fruitful results due to his advocacy over the years amongst his fellow colleagues at the US Congress.
Congressman Smith who is a Republican and a Senior Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations year ago blamed President Weah for the high rate of poverty in the country by using his political power to appropriate the wealth of the county through embezzlement or misappropriation of government funds at the expense of the wider population.
According to report, his advocacy in the U.S. Congress gave rise to the imposition of sanctions on Liberian government officials, this, our said has gained ground for more sanctions of additional individuals, according to multiple sources from the United States, the Treasury Department is said to be working around the clock to bring to book those who believed that they are untouchable to be sanctioned.
The New Jersey Congressman last year made mention of the then Trump administration’s sanction of Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County as a positive example of fighting graft and corruption in Liberia, stressing, “Liberian Senator, Varney Sherman, was sanctioned by the Trump administration for corruption, which is positive though; but more needs to be done, “Congressman Chris added.
The U.S. Congressman spoke last year through a live-streamed panel discussion on the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability act around the World, with Liberia and Nigeria the only African countries highlighted in his presentation.
The U.S. lawmaker has been in the US congress since 1980, serves residents of the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey, and is the Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and Ranking member on Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Congressman Smith, who has long chaired a number of bipartisan congressional caucuses, was among several who signed a letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2003 urging the White House to push for the turnover of former President Charles Taylor.
In April 2012, Rep. Smith hailed the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting in The Hague for rendering what he described as a “clear and just verdict” in the case of notorious human rights offender, Charles Taylor. “After a trial lasting five years, the Court found former warlord and Liberian President Charles Taylor guilty of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, ranging from terrorist acts to rape to enslavement to murder,” Rep. Smith wrote.