Associated Press: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) Sent Letters to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the NRA to Request Any Documents Showing Financial Links Between Russia and the NRA
McClatchy Reported That FBI Is Investigating Whether Russian Banker With Close Ties to Putin and the NRA Illegally Funneled Russian Money to the NRA During 2016 Election
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety today released the following statement responding to a report that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent two letters to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the NRA’s Treasurer to request documents indicating possible financial ties between Russia and the NRA.”
STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“The public needs to know whether or not the NRA took Russian or foreign money during the last election when it spent record amounts to elect President Trump. Until the NRA comes clean and starts answering questions, Americans are left wondering what the NRA might be hiding. I’m grateful that Sen. Wyden is asking the important questions of the NRA.”
According to the Associated Press:
“The national security as well as legal implications of these reports make it imperative that Congress conduct a thorough investigation,” Wyden wrote in his letter to Mnuchin.
A separate letter addressed to NRA treasurer Wilson Phillips Jr. included a more specific request for documents that detail financial transactions with Russian nationals.
“I am specifically troubled by the possibility that Russian-backed shell companies or intermediaries may have circumvented laws designed to prohibit foreign meddling in our elections,” Wyden wrote.
In January, McClatchy reported that “[t]he 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.”
For years, top NRA officials reportedly built close relationships with influential Russians with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Recently, it was reported that political operatives close to the NRA attempted to broker a meeting between representatives of the Russian government and the Trump campaign on the sidelines of the 2016 NRA convention. According to McClatchy, 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.” Five days after McClatchy published its report, an outside lawyer for the NRA told McClatchy the group has “not been contacted by the FBI about anything related to Russia.”
The NRA spent $55 million – or perhaps more than $70 million, according to McClatchy — to influence the 2016 elections. That’s far more than the group ever spent during a previous election. But the NRA does not have to disclose all of its donors, making it difficult to tell where the majority of the money came from.