Sanction are backed by legislation and one key element of it is that the President of the United State does not need to run the list of those being sanctioned by Congress. There is a question as to whether the President can end Sanctions against our enemies, which the Democrats might address by filing a lawsuit. However, while such a judgment has not been given, the President has the sole decider of the active sanctions list.
Sanctions work on a political level because it works on an economic level, impacting people’s wallets. Which means, this is a tool which the President use to target individuals. It is one of the rare few such tools. It also differs in that many of the other tools targeting individuals positively affect the target, such tools as pardoning convicted criminals.
Sanctions is also an interesting tool because it can be used as a law enforcement tool but without coupling it with any other tool. If the President sanctioned an individual without any other acts, it will stand as is. In that sense, it is powerful and versatile.
So, to lift such a thing from our enemy and our allies’ enemy opens us up to the risk of financing interests against our own. While most would agree that there are no benefits worth that risk, but most don’t realize what those benefits might be.
One benefit is simply the opening up of channels of transactions we can observe. If, for a brief time, we let the flood gates open to the money laundering and the financing of counter-American interests, we might discover new alliances we had not observed before.
We cannot know how the such benefits will be worth the risk. And not knowing the value of those benefits is a risk in itself.
So, how long are we willing to take those risks to find out what Russian money laundered has bought real estate in Manhattan, a very common practice?