The FBI has opened an investigation into whether the NRA took illegal Russian money to help Trump during the 2016 election.
The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.
FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.
In campaign finance terms, the Russia money to the NRA is an illegal contribution. The rest of the world views this as money laundering. If the investigation reveals that the NRA was on the Russia payroll for Trump, it would be a form of money laundering. Since it is illegal for political campaigns to accept donations from foreign nationals and countries, the NRA was used to launder the money and make it look like legal election activity.
If the NRA took Russian money to help Trump, it didn’t happen without coordination with the Trump campaign. The spin from the president and his defenders will be that this was Russia and the NRA acting independently, but that is extremely unlikely. A deeper probe of the Russian involvement in the 2016 election is likely to reveal a web of people who overlap with Russia, the Trump campaign, and the NRA.
The NRA’s flag-waving front has been shattered, as it looks like these fake patriots were on Putin’s payroll for Trump.