Somehow in the midst of my furlough, and Trump-outrage-fatigue — l somehow managed to miss this ground-shaking news. The Russian “agent” who had manage to infiltrate the NRA, and various other Republican interests, just ‘gave them all up’.
Well, that seems significant. Who knows where this might lead.
N.R.A. Seeks Distance From Russia as Investigations Heat Up
by Danny Hakim, NYTimes — Jan. 28, 2019
Congressional scrutiny of the N.R.A. has intensified since Ms. Butina pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to act as a foreign agent, in a deal with the United States attorney’s office in Washington. She admitted to being part of a Russian-backed effort to use the N.R.A. to influence American politics. Two Senate committees are also investigating the N.R.A.’s ties to Russia, as is the House Intelligence Committee, and the Federal Election Commission initiated a preliminary inquiry last year. Three past N.R.A. presidents — Mr. Keene, Mr. Cors and Mr. Brownell — have been asked for interviews in the inquiries.
A critical question for investigators is the extent of the N.R.A.’s financial ties to Russia. While the N.R.A. has turned over thousands of pages of records in the Senate inquiries, those documents do not include the organization’s closely held donor records; it is possible, however, that federal investigators have obtained the organization’s tax records from the Internal Revenue Service.
With Democrats now controlling the House, an inquiry led by the House Intelligence Committee has new life.
“We had begun to pursue this investigative thread at least a year ago, and were stymied by the then-majority,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who now leads the committee. “We were really not able to determine how the Russians used the N.R.A. as a back channel or look into allegations that the Russians may have funneled money through the N.R.A. to influence the election. Those issues remain of deep interest to us.”
NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre Targeted in Congressional Inquiry Into Illegal Campaign Coordination
Lawmakers demand documents after The Trace’s reporting shows NRA’s use of shell companies to support Trump, Senate campaigns.
by Mike Spies, TheTrace.org — February 7, 2019
A joint congressional inquiry is demanding that National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre hand over internal documents showing whether the NRA made “illegal, excessive, and unreported in-kind donations” to the campaigns of Donald Trump and several GOP Senate candidates.
The probe, led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, is based on a series of investigative reports published by The Trace laying out evidence that the NRA and its vendors used apparent shell companies to evade rules prohibiting coordination between outside groups and the campaigns they support.
“The evidence shows the NRA is moving money through a complex web of shell organizations to avoid campaign finance rules and boost candidates willing to carry their water,” Whitehouse told The Trace. “And if the NRA can weave such a web, so can Vladimir Putin and others trying to undermine our democracy. We need the truth about this scheme or else special interests like the gun lobby or foreign interests like Russia can flaunt the law and erode the integrity of our elections.”
Whitehouse and Raskin are demanding documents from LaPierre and five related vendors that have either worked for the NRA or for candidates it supported: OnMessage; Red Eagle Media; Starboard Strategic Inc.; American Media & Advocacy Group; and National Media Research, Planning, and Placement
The National Rifle Association is caught up in a rapidly expanding tangle of congressional investigations — four launched in the first three four launched in the first three months of 2019 alone. Investigators are scrutinizing the gun group’s ties to Kremlin-linked Russians and to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, as well as several potential campaign finance violations exposed by The Trace.
from that helpful resource, here is some of what the Congress is looking into:
And from the NRA itself, they are being told to turn over the Documents or suffer the subpoenas:
Source: Raskin Whitehouse Congressional Inquiry Letters
Happy Trails to the NRA! May their multiple violations of America’s Campaign Finance Laws return to them, the full weight of their #DirtyDeeds.
Conspiring with Russia is a new patriotic low, even for them …
When a delegation of high-profile donors, boosters and board members from the National Rifle Association traveled to Russia in 2015, they visited a gun factory in Moscow, took in a ballet and met with members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
But now the N.R.A. is seeking to distance itself from the trip, after revelations that a Russian woman who helped arrange it, Maria Butina, was conspiring to infiltrate the organization. […]
www.nytimes.com — Jan. 28, 2019
— — —
Addendum: Maybe we should cut Mueller some slack, eh? Seems like he’s got his dockets full on so many corrupt-GOP fronts:
But Mueller may have had the NRA in his sights all along. Citing an unnamed source, CNN is reporting that Mueller’s team has been “raising questions about the relationship between the campaign and the gun group” in recent weeks. The report’s corroborating source is Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide. Nunberg was interviewed by Mueller’s team nearly a year ago, in February 2018, but revealed to CNN in recent days that: “I was asked about the Trump campaign and our dealings with the NRA.”
www.rollingstone.com — Jan 29, 2019
Apologies if all this is “old news” to you.