Mueller looking into Trump-NRA connections now

CNNSpecial counsel Robert Mueller's team has expressed interest in the Trump campaign's relationship with the National Rifle Association during the 2016 campaign.
"When I was interviewed by the special counsel's office, I was asked about the Trump campaign and our dealings with the NRA," Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, told CNN.
The special counsel's team was curious to learn more about how Donald Trump and his operatives first formed a relationship with the NRA and how Trump wound up speaking at the group's annual meeting in 2015, just months before announcing his presidential bid, Nunberg said.
Nunberg's interview with Mueller's team in February 2018 offers the first indication that the special counsel has been probing the Trump campaign's ties to the powerful gun-rights group. As recently as about a month ago, Mueller's investigators were still raising questions about the relationship between the campaign and the gun group, CNN has learned.

The relationship is pretty simple. Trump ran as a Republican. De facto, the NRA supports Republicans nationally. (This is because the Democrats demonstrated they could not be trusted, as a whole, but individuals are evaluated as individuals when running for office). The NRA spent a lot of money on this election in particular because there was an open Supreme Court seat at stake, and it was previously held by a very pro-gun Justice. Of course the stakes were high.

But the implication here is insane.

CNNThe NRA had already come under scrutiny from lawmakers for its massive spending in support of Trump in 2016 and its ties to Russian nationals.
Maria Butina, a Russian national, pleaded guilty in DC federal court in December to engaging in a conspiracy against the US. As part of her plea, she acknowledged that she attempted to infiltrate GOP political circles and influence US relations with Russia, in part by building ties with prominent members of the NRA.

She also admitted she was working at the direction of a prominent former Russian central banker, Alexander Torshin, who was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department last year for his role in the Russian government. Torshin is also a lifetime member of the NRA.
Law enforcement has not accused the NRA of any wrongdoing.

Emphasis mine. This is just an attempt to smear Trump by association with the NRA by association with a single Russian possible agent.

CNNIn letters to Wyden, the NRA revealed it had received contributions from more than 20 Russian nationals in the US or people associated with Russian addresses since 2015. But the donations amounted to a little more than $2,500, according to the NRA's letter. The group also insisted it did not use foreign funds for election-related purposes.

So, an entirely trivial amount of money, no accusations of wrongdoing on the part of the NRA, no crime for Mueller to investigate, and yet he has a budget of millions to spend -- and will force his targets to spend even more defending themselves from baseless political charges.

Fri Jan 25 06:47:32 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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