It's been a minute since we discussed the shady relationship between the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Russia prior to the 2016 election, but Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee continued their investigation of the matter and now they've released their findings.
Russian oligarchs and operatives may have had their own motivations for literally getting in bed with the NRA, but Senate Democrats believe NRA officials were just looking to get rich quick.
The report details how NRA officials began their relationship with the Russians because they were looking for personal business opportunities.
From NBC News:
“This report lays out in significant detail that the NRA lied about the 2015 delegation trip to Moscow. This was an official trip undertaken so NRA insiders could get rich — a clear violation of the principle that tax-exempt resources should not be used for personal benefit,” Wyden said in a statement.
"The NRA has abused its tax-exempt status and essentially become a business enterprise that its board members and leadership use for lucrative personal business opportunities, including in Moscow," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Friday. "As the disturbing truth continues to surface, the NRA’s status as a tax exempt entity needs to be thoroughly investigated.”
This comports with everything we've learned about the NRA in recent months and in the years after the election.
We learned that former NRA president Oliver North was double-billing the lobby. We learned that CEO Wayne LaPierre has been self-dealing by using the lobby's funds to take luxury vacations, buy expensive suits, and even shop for a new home. We learned that some members of the NRA's board of directors have been getting paid by the lobby even though the board isn't suppose to be paid.
A river of blood money has flowed into the NRA and most of it came out the other side in the pockets of whoever was shameless enough.
The NRA's former marketing firm and producer of the defunct NRATV channel, Ackerman McQueen, could be charitably described as psychotic, but it appears that they were correct about the NRA's dubious ethics and financial relationships.