The American Legal Democracy Fund has filed complaint in response to reporting by McClatchy from January 18th.
The report indicated the FBI is investigating whether a Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the NRA with the ultimate goal of aiding then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy that FBI counterintelligence investigators honed in on the activities of Alexander Torshin, who is the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank and also known for his close relationship with both Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as his association with the NRA.
According to reports over the last year, Torshin tried to engage with Trump’s presidential campaign on multiple occasions. Those reports indicate that Torshin was seeking to meet with Donald Trump himself, and that he proposed via an intermediary that the men should meet at the 2016 NRA convention.
Ultimately, Mr. Torshin did not get that meeting, but he did end up meeting Donald Trump Jr. at the NRA’s 2016 convention. The NRA spent some $30 million to support Trump in the 2016 presidential race, close to triple what they spent supporting Mitt Romney in 2012.
The American Legal Democracy fund has filed the suit because, of course, is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.
This reported investigation into Alex Torshin would indicate a new aspect of the FBI probe of Russia’s interference that has been going on for roughly a year and a half. McClatchy reported last year that a cross-agency U.S. law enforcement and counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s intervention had been underway since prior to the 2016 general election campaign.
It was reported that the investigation’s initial focus was on whether the Kremlin had secretly helped fund efforts to boost Donald Trump’s chances.
I’m sure that both the NRA, as well as Trump officials, will claim coincidence. But who knew there were so many people coincidentally connected to the Kremlin who were eager to help presidential candidates?
It makes one wonder whether Trump’s presidential campaign was the first attempt by Russia to interfere in our democratic process — or was he the first idiot surrounded by idiots — who actually did the found the risk to be worth the potential rewards?