The National Rifle Association acknowledged that it accepts foreign donations but says it does not use them for election work — even as federal investigators look into the role the NRA might have played in Russia’s attack on the 2016 election.
Pressure on the organization has also been increased by a McClatchy report which suggested that the FBI had been investigating whether a top Russian banker with Kremlin ties illegally funneled money to the NRA to aid President Trump’s campaign for president. The Federal Election Commission has also opened a preliminary investigation into this question.
The NRA is not required to be transparent about how money moves between its various political entities, and this leaves questions unanswered about how these foreign funds were ultimately spent….
While the NRA claims it does not receive foreign money for election purposes, the movement of its money between accounts could make it difficult, if not impossible, to track how the money is spent since it is not isolated or sequestered.
The NRA has a variety of accounts, and the NRA Political Victory Fund is their official political action committee and must report all of its spending to the Federal Election Commission.
It also has other accounts that require less transparency, and do not report spending to the FEC — and in those funds, the NRA told Wyden, they “receive funds from foreign persons only for purposes not connected to elections, as permitted by federal law.”
However, the NRA acknowledges that money moves between those accounts: “transfers between accounts are made as permitted by law,” the NRA’s general counsel wrote.