A breaking development in the Trump/Russia: Follow the $$$ story took a dramatic turn due to a new investigative report issued by McClatchy. For those unaware of McClatchy’s track record, they are considered elite level journalists ranking among the most reliable of sources. According to Media/Bias Fact Fact Check (for the full review of McClatchy):
Factual Reporting: HIGH
McClatchy journalists have also won 9 Pulitzer prizes in their 159-year history. Well sourced and has low bias.
The McClatchy report indicates that the Federal Bureau of Investigations is currently investigating the National Rifle Association’s involvement in laundering money from Russia sources into the Trump election campaign.
Key elements of the McClatchy article are:
Alexander Torshin, an oligarch Russian banker, that has been the subject of previous counterintelligence investigations is now the subject of an FBI investigation. The FBI is investigating whether the Kremlin-tied Torshin provided money to the National Rifle Association (NRA) in order to aid the Trump election campaign.
“(T)he NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections, including $30 million to support Trump – triple what the group devoted to backing Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Most of that was money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.
Furthermore, the article goes on to say that due to a gap in required financial reporting, the NRA may have actually spent up to or over $70 million to assist Trump’s election campaign.
Also of note, Mr. Torshin has already been implicated in money laundering activity in Spain, revealed by a Bloomberg report in 2016. Torshin has been described as the “godfather in a major Russian criminal organization.”
Furthermore, Torshin is a lifetime NRA member and has attended several NRA conventions. At a May 2016 NRA event, Torshin spoke to Donald Trump Jr. and also has attempted to arrange meetings for both himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin with Donald Trump.
On top of Torshin’s efforts to cozy up to the Trump campaign, the Moscow banker has forged ties with powerful conservatives, including Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, the Californian whom some have deemed Putin’s best friend in Washington. In a phone interview in 2016, Rohrabacher recalled meeting Torshin in Moscow a few years earlier and described him as “a mover and shaker.”
It is believed, Torshin’s relationship with the NRA may have begun back when he attended the 2013 NRA convention held in Houston, Texas.
Alone the latest development may be damning, but considering that many have long claimed the key to determining the Trump/Russia relationship should focus on “following the money”–these developments should continue to raise more questions about the President’s finances and connections. Why does President Trump refuse to release his tax information?
Plus, the latest report by McClatchy comes on the heels of Steve Bannon’s claims of “money laundering” in the recent “Fire and Fury” book.
Finally, for those that may have missed Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston’s interview to promote his latest Trump book (titled: It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America)–you will want to watch the interview.
To read previous articles in the Trump/Russia series: