For months, the media has been reporting on a Department of Justice investigation into the alleged connection between Russia and the National Rifle Association.

Media reports have alleged that Russia has cultivated relationships with right-wing populist movements all over the world, and covertly exerted political and financial influence.

The NRA spent more than $30 million on Trump’s electoral campaign, and Russian Oligarch Alexander Torshin may have illegally funneled large sums of money to the NRA for the campaign.

On July 16, the Department of Justice unsealed a criminal complaint against a Russian national, Maria Butina, following her arrest for secretly acting as a Russian agent and infiltrating groups including the NRA for the purpose of advancing the Russian Federation, under the direction of a Russian government official. Although unnamed, Butina was also assisted in her efforts by a U.S. political operative.

I urge Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, to demand an investigation into the NRA’s role in the activities of Russian operatives in their attempt to influence the American political process and to funnel money and influence through the organization. It is absolutely critical for Congress to thoroughly investigate and report to constituents any findings they discover.

Carroll Payne

Plymouth

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