NRA Ties to Russian Operatives Draw Growing Scrutiny From Congress – Mother Jones
In one photo, Torshin poses with Keene and Weaver in a hotel suite: Torshin is wearing an NRA conference ID badge around his neck and an official 2013 NRA conference pin on his lapel, placed just below a Russian flag pin. He and Keene have an arm around each other.
Among the high-profile speakers at that NRA 2013 conference in Houston was future Trump national security adviser John Bolton, who at the time served on the gun group’s international affairs subcommittee. At Keene’s request, Bolton recorded a video address that fall talking up gun rights, which was used by Butina’s group for lobbying in Russia.
It is legal for foreign citizens to donate to causes in the United States, but federal law bars them from directly or indirectly contributing money to US political campaigns. That includes a ban on donations to political action committees. According to a report by McClatchy in January, the FBI has been investigating whether Russian money flowed illegally through the NRA into the 2016 Trump campaign, which the NRA backed with at least $30 million.