The Federal Election Commission has opened a preliminary investigation into whether the National Rifle Association received any illegal contributions from Russian entities trying to aid President Trump’s 2016 campaign, Politico reports. Sources cited in the report say the inquiry was partly motivated by a complaint from the American Democracy Legal Fund, which called for links between the NRA and Russian entities close to President Vladimir Putin to be put under the microscope. The FBI has already reportedly been investigating whether Alexander Torshin, a Putin ally and the deputy governor of the Kremlin’s central bank, funneled any illicit contributions to Trump’s campaign during his dealings with the NRA. News of FEC scrutiny also comes after an NRA lawyer was cited by McClatchy News earlier this week warning of “possible involvement in channeling Russian money into the 2016 elections to help Donald Trump.” The preliminary probe could force the NRA to hand over internal documents that include campaign finance records and pave the way to a full-blown investigation.
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