On Wednesday, the ever-expanding investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia grew a bit when BuzzFeed reported that investigators were digging into possible election payments by the latter. Today, the investigation expanded even further with an additional report that claims the FBI is probing whether Russia “illegally funneled” money through the National Rifle Association and into the Trump campaign. Throughout the 2016 election, the NRA spent a whopping $30 million to support Trump’s presidential ambitions.
According to McClatchy, which received its information from two sources close to the investigation:
FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.
Torshin, whom the report describes as “a leading figure in Putin’s party,” is reportedly also “a godfather in a major Russian criminal organization called Taganskaya” and “a lifetime NRA member who has attended several of its annual conventions.” This isn’t the first time the Russian banker has popped up in relation to Trump, for a scheduled meeting between him and President Trump in April was abruptly canceled when U.S. officials learned of his kingpin status. Even so, that didn’t stop Torshin from having a few words with Donald Trump Jr. at an NRA event in 2016:
At the group’s meeting in Kentucky in May 2016, Torshin spoke to Donald Trump Jr. during a gala event at the group’s national gathering in Kentucky in May 2016, when his father won an earlier-than-usual NRA presidential endorsement.
Good ol’ “treasonous” Don Jr.