NRA's Criminal Silence Over Alleged Russian Spy Maria Butina

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The NRA couldn’t defend guns after the arrest of Maria Butina. The group refused to comment on her and distanced itself from Russia.

The National Rifles Association is uncharacteristically quiet after the arrest of Maria Butina.

Butina — an alleged Russian spy reportedly worked with two unnamed U.S. citizens and a Russian official to try to influence American politics and infiltrate a pro-gun rights organization.

NRA

Not long ago, the NRA could not stop itself from defending guns even after children died in a school shooting, going as far as to fund a campaign calling Parkland survivors and gun control advocates “actors.”

In the aftermath of a shooting the pro-gun rights organization suggested that the way to remedy shootings in the USA would be for everyone to have guns and shoot shooting suspects, people conducting shootings, or their neighbors mowing lawns.

This time, however, the NRA has refused to add its opinion to the political landscape of the USA.

Its notorious spokesperson Dana Loesch also has nothing to add or defend on this situation.

Many had speculated that NRA had ties to Russia.

However, it is only now that the terrifying scale of their linkages with Kremlin is coming to light. The 29-year-old guns rights activist was arrested and indicted in the USA.

For years now, Butina had been cozying up to the top brass of the NRA, as well as Republican notables.

Butina was accused of being part of a conspiracy to act as an unauthorized agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without the authorization of the Attorney General.

A court memo alleged, she was working for FSB, the Russian intelligence agency made to replace KGB.

The issue of Butina has also brought to fore the problem of Trump being funded in large part by the Kremlin. In 2016, NRA funneled $30 million into Trump’s campaign.

Lawmakers now estimate that a large part of this amount may have come from Russia. The speculations have come after it was revealed that Russia’s central banker Alexander Torshin, who now faces sanctions from the USA, also forged connections into the NRA.

In 2015, NRA flew a delegation to Russia to meet Kremlin officials. Already, a disgraced member of that delegation, David Clarke, has disclosed in his ethics report that a large proportion of his traveling expenditure was bore by Butina’s group, Right to Bear Arms. Butina was also sexually involved with a veteran Republican operative Paul Erickson, who has connections in the NRA.

Butina has pleaded not guilty and argued that she is not a flight risk. The judge however, has chosen to detain her until trial.

 

Banner Cred: Reuters

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