Russia

Report: FBI Investigating Possible Cooperation Between Russia and the NRA

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

McClatchy broke the news early this morning that the FBI and special prosecutor Robert Mueller are investigating the possibility that Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, funneled money to the National Rifle Association (NRA) which used the money to help Trump.

All of the sources spoke on condition of anonymity because Mueller’s investigation is confidential and mostly involves classified information.

A spokesman for Mueller’s office declined comment. [...]

The extent to which the FBI has evidence of money flowing from Torshin to the NRA, or of the NRA’s participation in the transfer of funds, could not be learned.

However, the NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections, including $30 million to support Trump – triple what the group devoted to backing Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Most of that was money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.

This report follows a previous report that Mueller's investigators are examining money transfers to and from the Russian embassy that have been deemed suspicious. These two stories may or may not be directly related.

If it's true that foreign money was funnel into one of the NRA's political action committees (PAC) to support Trump, that would represent a whole new threat of unlimited, unaccountable money in politics brought to us by Citizens United.

It's illegal even for a PAC to use foreign money for those purposes, but who's going to find out if they aren't required to disclose their donors to the public?

I am unfortunately reminded that Hillary Clinton was attacked from the left and right in 2016 because Democratic PACs supported her even though she did not believe PACs should be allowed to hide their donors. Citizens United was a ruling against her. Her critics would go on to use and even form their own PACs.

  • mnpollio

    I have been of the thinking for years that the NRA has acted like a terrorist organization and should be treated as such.

  • muselet

    It sounds plausible and, given it’s the NRA we’re talking about, even borders on probable.

    However, let’s wait for the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation before we get too excited.

    –alopecia

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  • Aynwrong

    This is unfortunately given the nature of the NRA and it’s supporters very easy to believe. But I’ll defer to Muselet on this one. Let’s not get ahead of our skis.