Life has moved pretty fast over the past week. The government shut down and reopened. We learned the answers to questions unasked, like, “How exactly did President Trump pay off a porn actress to stay silent about their affair?” The White House press operation clarified that Trump’s racist goal of shifting immigration policy toward Northern European countries was based on the view that other foreign countries are “shithouses,” not “shitholes,” as originally reported.

But from the perspective of a blog about political parties, there is one undernoticed story with enormous implications for American politics. Last Thursday, McClatchy DC published a story titled “FBI Investigating Whether Russian Money Went to NRA to Help Trump.” It states:

The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin [Alexander Torshin] illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

At this point, there are few details, and the NRA is not responding to press inquiries. The McClatchy story traces Torshin’s relationship with the NRA, and TPM adds more details about the ties between Torshin and his aide Maria Butina and the Republican Party network. But it is not known a) if the basic charge is true, b) how much money (if any) was donated illegally, or c) which NRA officials (if any) knew about the illegal donations if they existed.

Nonetheless, it is worth a few lines to consider the implications.

This could be devastating for the NRA

At the least, the NRA will have to pay the legal expenses that accompany scandal investigations. As the investigation deepens, the reputation of the NRA could be harmed, decreasing its membership and fundraising.

If the NRA received money from Russian mobsters without knowing its origin, the organization could Read More Here