Russia sanctions still not implemented, despite White House promises

Despite the delay, the White House said that it will implement the penalties.

— -- Close to a month after the due date, the Trump administration has still not implemented the Russia sanctions that Congress passed nearly unanimously and Trump signed begrudgingly in August.

The law, which also targets Iran and North Korea, called on the Trump administration to identify which Russian intelligence and defense officials would be targeted before Oct. 1.

Despite the delay, the White House said today it will implement the penalties.

That update from the Treasury Department was a formal first step to give the proper agencies the authority to designate individuals. But the agencies have yet to use that authority.

Since then, the State and Treasury Departments have been working on identifying the Russian individuals and entities to list under the new sanctions.

In particular, the two agencies are still working together to develop guidance for partner countries and private companies to help them avoid violating the new sanctions, State Department officials told ABC News. That's what's holding up implementation of sanctions, they say.

"We are being very careful to develop a guidance that companies need because there are business entities that need guidance," Secretary of State Tillerson said on CNN Oct. 15, adding, "We have every intention of implementing Congress's intent."

“They’ve had plenty of time to get their act together,” they wrote Oct. 11.

The House Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee issued their own scathing letter to Trump Wednesday night, calling the delay "baffling and unacceptable" and saying it "deepens concerns over your campaign's and Administration's ties to Russia."

Sanction guidance doesn't normally take this long to develop, either. The Iran portion of the law, which has an Oct. 31 date for implementation, is ready to take effect, a U.S. official told ABC News.

ABC News' Ben Siegel contributed to this report.

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