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The FBI Is Now Looking Into The NRA's Potential Ties To Russian Election Meddling

The FBI Is Now Looking Into The NRA's Potential Ties To Russian Election Meddling
Updated 3 months ago

McClatchy News reported last month that the FBI is investigating Alexander Torshin, a Russian lawyer with connections to both Vladimir Putin and the NRA. The investigation allegedly seeks to determine whether any of the $55 million dollars spent by the NRA to help elect Republican officials (around $30 million on the Trump campaign alone) came from Russian donors. The use of foreign money to help fund a federal election is illegal.

While we do not yet know the amount of donations that Torshin, a life NRA member, made or brokered for the NRA, the organization spent double the amount on the 2016 elections than they spent on 2012 campaigns, donating triple what they donated to Mitt Romney to the Trump campaign. The true total may be as large as $70 million, since campaign groups are not required to disclose donations in certain operational facets, such as get-out-the-vote efforts.

The NRA threw their support emphatically behind Trump, endorsing him before he was the official nominee — a rare move for the organization. Trump, as recently as yesterday, has constantly regurgitated NRA talking points. 

During the 2016 campaign, Trump alluded to potential gun violence against his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.

Torshin reportedly met with Trump at the NRA's May 2016 convention in Kentucky, where the group officially endorsed Trump, and sat with Donald Trump, Jr. at a dinner there. For three years, Spanish authorities also investigated Torshin for similar accusations of foreign money laundering. The Spanish investigation ended in 2013 with no charges brought, and Torshin claimed he'd done nothing wrong, saying, “I’m a public individual and I’m not hiding anywhere.”

But Twitter won't forget any time soon that the NRA is a player in the Russia investigation:

Others tried to discredit the press and the entire investigation:

NRA attorney Steven Hart says the FBI has not contacted them, but many people are speculating about Mueller's smoking gun: