MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On June 7, US Congressmen David Cicilline and Matthew Gaetz introduced legislation, called The Foreign Agents Registration Modernization and Enforcement Act, which would provide the US Department of Justice with "the increased investigative authority to identify and prosecute entities that seek to unlawfully influence the political process."
The legislation is specifically targeting such media outlets, as RT broadcaster, obliging them to register as foreign agents and report their activity to the Department of Justice.
"My advice to the distinguished senators is to adopt the law as soon as possible, because while you wait, we can conquer not only Limpopo, but also Lukomorye [a fictional land in Russian folklore]!" Simonyan told RT, referring to a prank of US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who was convinced that Russia had "hacked" the election system of a fictitious country called Limpopo.
Cecilline called the RT broadcaster the Kremlin's "propaganda" arm "dressed up as a legitimate news outlet," and said that the new bill will help to prevent "spread of fake news" among the US nationals.
In accordance with the new legislation, the US Justice Department will be able to compel the production of documents from any person or entity while investigating any case, which is within the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) compliance. As of now, the authority to compel the production of such documents appears only after initiation of the civil or criminal proceeding.
Russian media outlets broadcasting in Europe and the United States have been facing a barrage of accusations by Western officials about allegedly spreading fake news and attempting to influence public life. In the United States, the intelligence community has claimed Russia used its media outlets to swing the outcome of US November presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, but have not provided any evidence to back their claims.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior officials have repeatedly stated that Moscow refrains from meddling in internal affairs of foreign countries.