Director who once said "God called on Russia" to stop the Gay rights movement charged with violating Obama Era sanctions on oligarch.
Former Fox News producer John Hanick has been charged by prosecutors for violating United States sanctions against a Russian oligarch.
Violated Russia sanctions and lied about it to the FBI
The Southern District of New York issued a press release on March 3rd announcing the unsealing of charges against Mr. Hanick. According to the release, Hanick is being charged with violations of United States sanctions and false statements about his work with sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Konstantin Malofeyev is closely tied to Russian aggression in Ukraine, having been determined by OFAC to have been one of the main sources of financing for the promotion of Russia-aligned separatist groups operating in the sovereign nation of Ukraine. The United States sanctions on Malofeyev prohibit United States citizens from working for or doing business with Malofeyev but as alleged, Hanick violated those sanctions by working directly for Malofeyev on multiple television projects over the course of several years. The Indictment unsealed today shows this Office’s commitment to the enforcement of laws intended to hamstring those who would use their wealth to undermine fundamental democratic processes. This Office will continue to be a leader in the Justice Department’s work to hold accountable actors who would support flagrant and unjustified acts of war.”Source
Charges are under Obama era sanctions, not the new ones
According to the indictment, Hanick worked directly for Malofeyev from 2013 until sometime in 2017. Under President Obama’s March 6th, 2014 Executive Order 13,660, Hanick’s work with Malofeyev to launch his Tsargrad TV network was in clear violation of the sanction against the oligarch.
Tsargrad TV is a conservative, pro-Russian Orthodox Christianity network that supports Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin. It is little wonder why Malofeyev wanted a former Fox News producer to work on the project. When you’re building a right-wing propaganda outfit you want someone with experience.
John Hanick was a Director at Fox News for fifteen years from 1996 until 2011. During that time he also worked on Geraldo Rivera’s syndicated “Geraldo At Large” show. Prior to that, he worked at CNBC.
Media ties to Donetsk region
I don’t want to read too much into these charges. That said, it sounds to me like the FBI is alleging that Hanick is partly responsible for pro-Russia propaganda in Ukraine. In much the same fashion as how Fox News opinion content made your grandma believe Obama is a Muslim, Tsargrad TV has convinced a bunch of ethnically Russian Ukrainians that Ukraine is really a part of Russia.
In 2013, Hanick told the Russian Duma that “God called on Russia” to stop the Gay rights movement. Video below.
(Note: This article has been edited to reflect that Hanick was previously employed at CNBC. A typographical error lead to a misattribution of another network in the original posting.)