REP LIEU PRESSES NRA FOR ANSWERS ON ALLEGED LINKS TO RUSSIA
March 9, 2018 WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) sent a letter to the National Rifle Association seeking an explanation regarding reports that allege the NRA may have received unlawful contributions or assistance from Russian individuals with links to the Kremlin. It is illegal for foreign individuals to make contributions in U.S. elections. Mr. Lieu, a member of the Judiciary Committee, is requesting that the NRA explain potential connections to or associations with Russian-linked individuals in an effort to better understand the scope of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In the letter, Rep. Lieu writes:
- It is deeply disturbing that an organization like the NRA, whose stated purpose and objective is to “protect and defend the Constitution,” would meet with sanctioned individuals connected to a foreign adversary that seems determined to undermine our elections.More troubling is that Torshin and Rudov appear to be further intertwined with other Russian individuals seeking to destabilize our democracy. At the same time Torshin’s NRA delegation met with Rudov and Rogozin, the now infamous dinner hosted by Russia Today was taking place. Alongside General Michael Flynn and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Konstantin Malofeev – founder of the aforementioned St. Basil Foundation – attended the dinner. Malofeev is also the co-founder of CFG Marshall, where Torshin sits on the advisory board. Malofeev is close with the Russian government and with the former director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, which reportedly developed plans to help elect Trump.
- This complex web of Russian officials, NRA officials, and Trump campaign associates raises serious concerns. I respectfully request a response to each of the following questions:
- Did any NRA officials communicate with Torshin or any other Russian-linked individuals about efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election?
- If so, was anyone associated with the Trump campaign aware of those communications?
- Did any NRA officials communicate with Torshin or any other Russian-linked individuals about efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. congressional elections?
- If so, was anyone associated with any congressional office or campaign, including the House Speaker and Senate Leader, aware of those communications?
- Did the NRA facilitate any meetings or communications between Trump campaign associates and Torshin or any other Russia-linked individuals?
- Did the NRA receive any money from Russia or Russia-linked individuals or entities during the 2016 election cycle?
- If so, did the NRA use any of that money in their 2016 election campaign contributions?
- Did any NRA officials discuss money laundering or the funneling of money from Russia to the NRA?
- Has anyone at the NRA been contacted by the FBI related to its investigation into interference in the 2016 election?
- In January 2017, the U.S. intelligence community announced with certainty that the Russian government interfered in our election. This interference is a direct threat to our democracy, and it is critical that we have a full understanding of Russia’s tactics so that we can hold those involved accountable and safeguard future elections.