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AOC defends lonely vote against seizing assets of pro-Putin Russian oligarchs

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 4/28/2022 Dave Goldiner

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was one of just eight House lawmakers to vote against seizing assets from Russian oligarchs.

The progressive firebrand said seizing the yachts and plush apartments of billionaire cronies of Russian President Vladimir Putin could undermine Americans’ Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

“Oligarchs should pay ... but this vote told POTUS to violate the 4th Amd & seize private property,” AOC wrote on Twitter.

AOC and other progressives have long been concerned about civil forfeiture laws, which have sometimes been used as blunt weapons in the hands of overzealous prosecutors.

Some advocates say those forfeiture rules have disproportionately been used to punish Black and brown suspects in the failed war on drugs.


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“This sets a risky new precedent in the event future Presidents who may seek to abuse that expansion of power,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She insists she supports Ukraine’s effort to turn back the Russian invasion and has backed other anti-Russian sanctions.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference in San Antonio, Texas on February 12, 2022. © Brandon Bell Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference in San Antonio, Texas on February 12, 2022.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference in San Antonio, Texas on February 12, 2022. (Brandon Bell/)

The measure, which calls on President Biden to seize oligarch’s assets that have already been frozen, only targets foreigners, undermining AOC’s argument about its potential use against Americans.

It passed the House by an overwhelming bipartisan 417-8 vote.

The no votes included an extremely unusual coalition: AOC was joined on the left by three of her staunchest progressive allies, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri).

They were joined by four of the most extreme right-wing Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Fla.), Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) and Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky.)

Greene and Cawthorn have been harshly critical of the Ukrainian government and have spouted pro-Putin talking points, while Massie is fiercely opposed to U.S. involvement in overseas conflicts.

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