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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Menendez asks FBI, FEC to investigate NRA

By Nikita Biryukov, December 12 2018 10:43 am

Sen. Bob Menendez on Wednesday wrote FBI Director Cristopher Wray and Federal Elections Commission chief Caroline Hunter requesting that they look into how funds from the National Rifle Association were used in the 2018 election.

“I am writing to request your assessment on whether Kremlin funds have been directed through the NRA to support U.S. political campaigns during the 2018 election cycle—an action that, if it occurred, would represent a breach of U.S. law and violate the sovereignty of our democratic system and, as such, merits close scrutiny by your respective agencies,” Menendez said.

“I also request that your agencies work to determine whether individuals serving as candidates, campaign staff or volunteers in any House or Senate races were aware of, or helped to facilitate, the flow of Russian money to these campaigns.”

Alleged Russian agent Marina Butina is reported to be approaching a plea deal with federal authorities. She is said to have been working with the NRA in ways that breached election and foreign lobbying laws.

The NRA is facing probes from the FEC on other fronts. Those inquiries are examining whether the group illegally coordinated independent expenditures and accepted foreign money.

Menendez is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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