John Smith spoke to the National Journal  for an article covering President Biden's State Department slow-rolling sanctions against the Russian energy project Nord Stream 2 out of concern that those targeted might overturn the penalties in U.S. courts.

"There has been a loss or two in court under the new China sanctions partly because the Trump administration had agencies like the Defense Department that had no prior expertise putting together sanctions packages adding names to the Pentagon list of Chinese military companies," John said.

"After President Trump lost the election, [he] rolled out a new executive order without a lot of care and consideration, did not provide a lot of guidance on what the executive order meant, and charged the Defense Department as one of the agencies to add names to a list," he added. "The judge looked to the Defense Department's evidence and mocked it, and threw it out as clearly not meeting a basic evidentiary standard. That will not be the case with a Treasury Department sanctions action."

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Originally published by National Journal

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