Romanian strongman Liviu Nicolae Dragnea has been banned from the United States because of his “involvement in significant corruption,” the U.S. Department of State has announced in a press release. The ban also applies to Dragnea’s two children, Valentin Ştefan Dragnea and Maria Alexandra Dragnea, and underscores the United States’ commitment to fighting corruption and support for the rule of law in Romania.
The former Speaker of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies is currently in jail. He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison after the Court of Cassation (Romania’s equivalent of a supreme court) found Dragnea guilty of fictitiously employing two people at the Teleorman County child protection service while they were, in fact, clerks for the local branch of the leading party, PSD.
It is worth noting that Dragnea and then Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu (and other foreign leaders) met the current president of the U.S. one week before Trump’s inauguration at an exclusive event. The Romanian “delegation” met Trump with venture capitalist Elliott Broidy at the table. The handshake was captured on camera and posted by Dragnea on his Facebook page along with a text highlighting Dragnea’s efforts for stronger ties between Romania and the U.S.
The ban from the country puts Dragnea in a very “exclusive” (pun intended) company: Albanian businessman and politician Tom Doshi, Bosnian Serb MP Nikola Spiric, Dominican senator Félix Ramon Bautista Rosario, and others.
Title image: Liviu Dragnea shaking hands with Donald Trump. Image source: Dragnea’s Facebook page