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The Russia Investigation Just Got Bigger, And Republicans Are Still Working Against It

According to anonymous sources associated with the matter, the FBI is running an investigation on whether a Russian banker laundered money through the NRA for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

On January 18th, McClatchy journalists Peter Stone and Greg Gordon released a special report on the NRA money laundering accusations. According to the report, the investigation centers around Alexander Torshin (above), the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank and a leading senator in Putin’s United Russia Party. Torshin has been previously implicated in money laundering in Spain, allegedly using his political position to help move money through the banks. In 2017, the Madrid newspaper El Pais reported that the Spanish police attempted to arrest him in 2013 before a tip-off from a Russian prosecutor made him cancel his trip.

Torshin has connections to the NRA; he is a lifetime member of the organization, and has started a sister group in Russia, called Right To Bear Arms. In late 2015, he hosted two opulent dinners for an NRA delegation to Moscow that included meetings with influential Russian government and business figures. A year later, he allegedly attempted to make contact with Trump during an NRA convention in Kentucky. Just before the convention, NRA fundraiser Paul Erickson sent an email to Trump campaign aide Rick Dearborn titled “Kremlin Connection.” In the email, Erikson said that Russia planned to use the convention to make “first contact” with the Trump campaign.

The email was eventually forwarded to Trump’s advisor Jared Kushner (below), who advised the Trump campaign to “decline such meetings.” However, Kushner failed to disclose his knowledge of the message to Robert Mueller’s investigation. And although Torshin was unable to speak to Trump Sr. during the gala, he had a conversation with Trump Jr. over dinner. Alan Futerfas, one of Trump Jr.’s lawyers, says that the conversation was all “gun-related small talk.”

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