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Comment of the Day: Russian Money Flowed Through the NRA to Don the Con and the Republicans

2018-01-19

(That’s right, it’s the Swiss National Rifle Association)

Glenn Simpson, one of the founders of Fusion GPS (the company that did opposition research on Don the Con before the election and hired Christopher Steele) gave testimony to both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees; the Senate testimony, released publicly last week, had a few bombshells, like the Trump Money Pits in the United Kingdom– two golf courses that received $200 million in Trump Organization funding last year for “remodeling” (money laundering) while their combined revenue was less than $30 million and both showed losses of several millions each. 

The House testimony went public yesterday, and there was a landmine in there that didn’t go unnoticed: the Russia-NRA connection.  It turns out that the NRA was the biggest “dark money” donor to the Trump campaign in 2016– $30 million out of a total of $55 million donated to various Republican candidates.

Well, guess who is a life member of the NRA?  Alexander Torshin, a Russian billionaire and deputy governor of the Russian central bank.  He was at the NRA’s annual convention last year, when the organization officially backed Don the Con for President.  Torshin met with Don Jr. but he wasn’t able to secure a meeting with the big Don, despite emails routed through Christian fundamentalist acquaintances inviting Don to a dinner being held there.  Supposedly Torshin attended another dinner that Don also attended, but I guess he didn’t get to sit at the high table with him.

Apparently, the Russian who founded a group in Russia that promoted “gun rights” (there is not such a thing in the Russian constitution) and an American founded a limited liability company “to help pay her tuition to graduate school” but which turns out to be an ideal conduit for disguising the source of money which apparently is flowing into the NRA from Russia.  If the NRA is really compromised, then the whole Republican Party will take a huge hit for accepting money from a source that accepted money from foreigners– the law against foreign money in elections includes indirect sources as well.

This comment was posted to an op-ed in the New York Times by Michelle Goldberg, entitled “Is This the Collusion We’ve Been Waiting For?”  She is quoting from the op-ed in her first sentence.

ChristineMcM

is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 10 hours ago

“Gun laws in Russia are strict, and if people close to Putin actually wanted to change them, creating a group alluding to America’s Second Amendment seems like a weird way to do it. As Simpson said in his House testimony: “Vladimir Putin is not in favor of universal gun ownership for Russians. And so it’s all a big charade, basically.””

I swear to God you can’t make this up! In one sense it would make perfect sense, because it exploits all the horror that were predicted when the Supreme Court decided the outcome of possibly the worst decision in our nation’s history: Citizens United.

Has such a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? “Citizens United” unleashing the notion that citizens are people and ‘dark money’ need not be revealed in the name of free speech,

So, in essence, if the money trail reveals a big donation from Russian oligarchs/mafia/whatever to the NRA, directed to the dark money pit, we have the Russians exploiting both our first and second amendments to influence our elections.

That would be a major federal felony for all parties, but of course nailing a Russian would be tough. As you say, though, Michelle, this level of corruption falls squarely on the GOP.

Let’s hope the FBI can complete its work before the GOP, trying to make it public enemy Number One shuts down its investigation.

Isn’t it possible Putin’s Russian didn’t need nukes to attack and weaken American democracy–just hard cold cash?

(No, that’s not the American NRA, it’s the Swiss NRA and the picture is from pixabay.)

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