A day after Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a report stating they had “obtained a number of documents that suggest the Kremlin used the NRA as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his campaign,” the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote a column titled “Politicians who took NRA money ought to give it back.” In her piece, Rubin says that the possible connections between Russia and the NRA, which spent more than $30 million to help elect President Donald Trump, are too significant to ignore.
“There are numerous questions yet to be answered — the extent of the NRA’s knowledge of Russian meddling, whether the NRA participated in a conspiracy to break campaign finance laws barring foreigners from making campaign donations and where the Russian money funneled through the NRA wound up. Nevertheless, Max Bergmann of the Moscow Project observes: “It looks increasingly clear the Russians were looking to infiltrate the American right. What’s shocking was how little resistance the Russians seemed to face.”
“Congressional hearings into the possible use of of right-wing front groups by the Kremlin would certainly be appropriate. Meanwhile, the NRA revelation raises a serious problem for politicians who have received money and/or support from the NRA. No one is suggesting that any candidates who benefited from the NRA’s largesse knew of Russia’s alleged infiltration; however, now that significant questions have been raised about the origin of campaign money, any candidate who received NRA support, I would argue, has at least a moral obligation to give the money back. Those who have gotten the coveted “A” rating from the NRA should think twice about touting the stamp of approval from a group that wittingly or unwittingly allegedly helped in essence launder Russian money. Opponents of the NRA-backed candidates would be foolish not to demand that they give their NRA money back — perhaps in rubles.”