As part of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, the FBI is investigating a Russian banker who may have illegally given money to the NRA in order to help elect Donald Trump.
McClatchy DC reports that two sources confirmed the FBI is looking into Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, who allegedly helped mobsters launder money through Spanish banks when he was a senator in Vladimir Putin’s party. He is also a lifetime NRA member who fought to expand gun rights in Russia in 2012.
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A summary obtained by McClatchy of the still-secret report links Torshin to Russian money laundering and describes him as a godfather in a major Russian criminal organization called Taganskaya.
Investigators for three congressional committees probing Russia’s 2016 operations also have shown interest in Torshin, a lifetime NRA member who has attended several of its annual conventions. 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.
The FBI, office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the NRA all declined to comment on the story, and McClatchy reports that it’s “unclear” how long the FBI has been looking into Torshin or how much evidence they have of money flowing between Torshin and the NRA.
Meanwhile, Mueller is continuing to corner Trump’s inner circle. On Wednesday, CNN reported that Mueller’s team will interview former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, though Bannon will not be required to testify in front of a grand jury.