Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (L) questions former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, nominated for secretary of state, as Sen. Christopher Coons listens, during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on January 11. Tillerson's close business relationship with Russia was scrutinized by the panel. Shaheen has introduced legislation that would give the Justice Department additional authority to investigate Russia's English-language news outlet RT America for possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
March 14 (UPI) -- New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen introduced legislation that gives the Justice Department additional authority to investigate Russia's English-language news outlet RT America, said there are potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
"We have good reason to believe that RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process," Shaheen said Tuesday in a news release. "The American public has a right to know if this is the case. RT News has made public statements boasting that it can dodge our laws with shell corporations, and it's time for the Department of Justice to investigate. My bill provides the authority needed to request documentation of RT News and find out who they're accountable to."
RT America is part of RT, formerly Russia Today, a television network and digital news outlet that is funded by the Russian government. It was started by Russian television company RIA Novosti.
A Jan. 6 report from James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, said that Russia's influence in the 2016 presidential election involved RT America. The report said RT was avoiding disclosure requirements by using a nonprofit structure and that its programming included stories that benefited Russian interests.
"RT America has positioned itself as a domestic U.S. channel and has deliberately sought to obscure any legal ties to the Russian government," the report said.
The news organization supported Donald Trump for president and had extensive coverage of U.S. election fraud and protests in the United States against the political system.
In 2015, Britain's Office of Communications, commonly known as Ofcom, sanctioned RT for breaking rules related to news impartiality.