Ted Lieu Launches Investigation into NRA Ties to Russia
The National Rifle Association (NRA) spent more than $30 million to support the Trump campaign, an amount far greater than those used for previous Republican presidential nominees. The gun advocacy group also spent significant amounts on House and Senate races. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY) want to know why. The pair first called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to launch an investigation probing the group’s ties with Russian individuals last year. But the lawmakers were not satisfied with the FBI’s response and are now launching a new probe of what they called the “complex web of relationships” between members of the NRA and Russian individuals with close ties to the Kremlin. ABC News obtained a letter the pair sent to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre expressing concern about the NRA’s attempts to distance itself from any formal involvement in a trip high-ranking NRA members took to Moscow in December of 2015. While the NRA claimed LaPierre “was opposed to the trip” and even prohibited staff members from joining, internal NRA emails appear to show the organization was significantly involved in its planning. “We are disturbed by the lack of transparency the NRA has demonstrated surrounding the December 2015 trip to Moscow,” the lawmakers wrote. “Furthermore, we are concerned that this extends to other allegations that have been made against the organization as it relates to Russia.” Senate Dems have also launched a probe, though Democrats in the House may have more leeway than their counterparts in the GOP-controlled Senate. More here.