Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) says that Joe Biden’s State Department has issued sanctions against former Albanian President Sali Berisha as punishment for his loyalty to American Republicans and opposition to George Soros.
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Zeldin has been demanding information for several months about the administration’s claim that the close friend of the Bush family has been involved in “significant corruption.” In May, Berisha, who served as president of Albania from 1992 to 1997 and prime minister from 2005 to 2013, was sanctioned by the State Department.
Zeldin’s requests have been blocked for over five months. He has asked for a description of any credible evidence in possession of the State Department that could support the sanctions.
Zeldin told the Washington Free Beacon that the administration has only given him “sporadic” and “cagey” responses that are evasive and nonresponsive. He said that it is clear to him now that the administration does not need transparency and respects the oversight power Congress has over executive actions.
Because international sanctions are typically announced with a detailed explanation of why they are being imposed, claims that Biden is engaging in a political hit against an opponent of Soros and friends of Republicans are finding more credibility. Zeldin has led the charge, calling the way the sanctions were issued “unacceptable and suspicious.”
Berisha said earlier this year that he is planning a defamation action against Secretary of State Antony Blinken and claims that the evidence used by the administration was fabricated by an obscure European network financed by Soros. He said that the State Department has no evidence against him other than “manipulation or slander.”
Zeldin has asked the Foreign Relations Committee for information about the sanctions three times this year. He has also asked for a meeting with all State Department officials to issue the sanctions. His most recent letter from last month pointed out that the request has been ignored.
A State Department official said that Berisha had engaged in corruption that “undermines the rule of law” and faith in the Albanian government and its officials.