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From Russia With Love: Five Basic Questions the NRA Should Answer Today About its Ties to Russia

February 14, 2018

It has been months since the NRA first began to duck questions about its relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin’s regime. Since last year, calls for the NRA to come clean and answer questions have only grown. Last month, McClatchy reported that the FBI is investigating “whether Russian money went to [the] NRA to help Trump” get elected. It took the NRA five days to issue a carefully worded statement through its outside counsel, who said the NRA had “not been contacted by the FBI about anything related to Russia.” Besides that statement, the NRA has ignored growing questions about its relationship with Russia for nearly a year, even as media uncover more unusual and deep ties between the NRA and Russia.

As Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day, it’s another occasion for the NRA to finally disclose its ties to Russia and answer some of the basic questions it has refused to answer.

Questions for the NRA this Valentine’s Day:

  • Will the NRA comply with Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) request for the NRA to provide the Senate Financial Services Committee with documents indicating any financial ties between the NRA and Russia? Sen. Wyden’s letter to the NRA requested that the organization respond no later than this Friday.
  • Has the NRA received any money from Russia or Russian-linked individuals or entities? If so, did it use that money during the 2016 election? The NRA spent at least $55 million during the last election — and according to McClatchy, potentially more than $70 million — far more than it ever spent during a previous election cycle.
  • Top Putin ally and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin attended at least three NRA conventions and chose the setting of the NRA convention in 2016 to try to arrange a meeting between himself and then-candidate Trump or top Trump campaign officials. Did the NRA have any knowledge of, or play a part in, Torshin’s outreach to the Trump campaign surrounding the NRA convention?
  • What was the purpose of the NRA delegation’s 2015 trip to Moscow, and why did Torshin and Maria Butina attend multiple NRA conventions?
  • Has the NRA ever provided financial or material support to the Russian gun organization called the “Right to Bear Arms”?

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