Russians gave millions of dollars to the NRA during the 2016 election. Then the NRA gave millions to the Trump campaign. It certainly looks like Russian money laundering. And now the FBI is finally investigating.
On Thursday, CNBC reported,
“The FBI is investigating the National Rifle Association to determine whether Russians illegally funneled money through the organization to help the Trump campaign.”
The biggest reason that Republicans refuse to do anything about the horrific epidemic of mass shootings in this country is because they are beholden to the NRA.
According to Fortune magazine, the NRA spent over $31 million in 2016 to help elect Donald Trump. That’s three times the amount they gave Romney in 2012. And they spent millions more electing Republicans.
The Center for Responsive Politics and the New York Times have calculated the top five Senators and the top five Congressmen who’ve received the most money from the NRA. All ten of them are Republicans.
The top 5 Senators who received the most money from the NRA
John McCain (R-AZ) – $7.74 million
Richard Burr (R-NC) – $6.99 million
Roy Blunt (R-MO) – $4.55 million
Thom Tillis (R-NC) – $4.42 million
Cory Gardner (R-CO) – $3.88 million
The top 5 House members who received the most money from the NRA
French Hill (R, AR) – $1.09 million
Ken Buck (R, CO) – $800,544
David Young (R, IA) – $707,662
Mike Simpson (R, ID) – $385,731
Greg Gianforte (R, MT) – $344,630
But, as CNBC points out, the NRA may have finally gone too far in their efforts to elect Trump and Republicans. They reported on Thursday,
“The FBI recently launched an investigation to determine whether a Russian central banker, and Putin ally, illegally funneled money through the organization to help the Trump campaign.”
The news site added,
“Because it is illegal for foreign nationals to spend money in U.S. campaigns, obscuring funds coming from, say, an agent of the Russian government — by funneling them through an organization like the NRA — would be akin to money laundering.”
The NRA is one of the largest “dark money” organizations. They report the greatest amount of campaign spending without revealing the source of the money. They reported over $35 million in dark money in the 2016 election cycle alone.
So how much of that dark money came from Russians? The NRA so far isn’t saying. But, hopefully, that’s what the FBI will soon find out.
“The Russia investigation is not just relevant to allegations of collusion, or even just to Russia. It is revealing a fundamental vulnerability in our political system — one that is being exploited by Russia, but that is also being exploited by others, foreign and domestic, who want to see American government serve their interests instead of the interests of the American public.”