Center for American Progress

Bringing Dark Money to a Gunfight: The NRA and Other Groups Are Increasingly Using Untraceable Dollars to Influence Our Elections
In the News

Bringing Dark Money to a Gunfight: The NRA and Other Groups Are Increasingly Using Untraceable Dollars to Influence Our Elections

Authors Alex Tausanovitch and Diana Pilipenko discuss the unsettling trend of the National Rifle Association and other outside groups not reporting where their money is coming from, potentially allowing lobbyists and foreign agents to influence elections.

On Monday, the Justice Department charged Maria Butina, a Russian national closely linked to both the NRA and the Kremlin, with conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent. For years, Butina and Alexander Torshin, the sanctioned deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank, have cultivated close ties with the gun lobby in an effort to advance the Russian government’s agenda.

An FBI affidavit supporting the complaint quoted an unnamed American saying that he helped secure “a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin” and Republican Party leaders. He added that “of all conduits” for that communication, he was referring to a gun rights organization — from context, almost certainly the NRA.

The above excerpt was originally published in New York Daily News. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Alex Tausanovitch

Director, Campaign Finance and Electoral Reform

Diana Pilipenko

Associate Director, Anti-Corruption and Illicit Finance