FBI Probing To See If Russian Money Went To NRA To Help Donald Trump Get Elected
Says new report
January 19, 2018
President Donald Trump. Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghoshian
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, according to a new report by the McClatchy newspaper chain.
The report, which says FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, is based on two unnamed sources "familiar with the matter" who have provided McClatchy with that information and who spoke on condition of anonymity because special counsel Robert Mueller 's investigation into Russia's meddling into the 2016 Presidential election is confidential and mostly involves classified information.
Items from the report found here :
....... Torshin is reported to be known for his "close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA."
....... It’s unclear how long the Torshin investigation has been underway.
.......It's illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.
.......the NRA reported spending "a record $55 million on the 2016 elections, including $30 million to support Trump – triple what the group devoted to backing Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race." Most of that was money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.
....... Two people with close connections to the NRA said its total election spending actually approached or exceeded $70 million.
....... Torshin is described as a "leading figure in Putin’s party" and has been implicated in money laundering by judicial authorities in Spain...Spanish investigators alleged...that Torshin, who was then a senator, capitalized on his government role to assist mobsters laundering funds through Spanish properties and banks. A summary of that still-secret Spanish investigative report obtained by McClatchy "links Torshin to Russian money laundering and describes him as a godfather in a major Russian criminal organization called Taganskaya."
.......Investigators for three congressional committees probing Russia’s 2016 operations also have shown interest in Torshin, a lifetime NRA member who has attended several of its annual conventions.
.......At an NRA meeting in Kentucky in May 2016, Torshin spoke to Donald Trump Jr. "during a gala event at the group’s national gathering in Kentucky in May 2016, when his father won an earlier-than-usual NRA presidential endorsement."
A spokesman for Mueller’s office declined comment on the McClatchy report.