A recent McClatchy report says that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference has pointed to concerns that the Kremlin funneled 2016 presidential election funds through the National Rifle Association (NRA).
According to the McClatchy report, Mueller’s investigation is looking into whether or not a prominent Kremlin figurehead with close ties to the National Rifle Association illegally funnelled money through the gun-rights group in an attempt to influence the results of the 2016 presidential election.
In November of 2016, ThinkProgress scrutinized the NRA’s odd relationship with the leadership of Right to Bear Arms, which is a Russian-based pro-gun outfit run by a young activist by the name of Maria Butina and her close colleague and boss, Alexander Torshin, who is the deputy governor of the Russian central bank.
Despite the fact that the NRA promotes gun rights as a defense against tyranny, it hold suspiciously close ties to Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime. Torshin, an NRA Life Member, attended a number of NRA national conventions in the United States. Former Milwaukee County Sheriff and NRA supporter David Clark was one of many pro-Trump and pro-gun-rights advocates to attend the Moscow event by “The Right to Bear Arms” group.
Although a number of national conservative organizations in 2016 avoided showing support for Donald Trump, the NRA went all-in to see that Trump got elected. The group spent upwards of $30 million in “independent expenditures” to support Trump and focus an attack on Hillary Clinton, and failed to disclose its donors.
On Thursday, McClatchy reported that a number of sources contend that the FBI’s counterintelligence investigators are currently looking into whether Torshin may have provided some funding. Federal law explicitly prohibits foreign governments from using monetary influence in federal elections.
Do you think this could be what Mueller needs to prove the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential race?
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