This is getting almost no coverage (update: okay NOW it is), but there is breaking news on another front. The DOJ just announced the arrest of an unregistered Russian agent, Maria Butina. Right now, the only charge is that Ms. Butina was an unregistered foreign agent, but the FBI was investigating her on the belief that she worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government to influence the US elections by channeling Russian money to the Trump campaign through the NRA.
The NRA donated $30MM to Trump (after only $12MM to Romney) and that might have inclued $21MM in dark money. But McClatchy News investigation reported could be as much as $70MM all in.
The affidavit in support of the complaint is cloak-and-dagger-y:
Here’s a video from 2015 where Trump is asked a question from Maria Butina (Why did he call on her? Did he know her? Or because she is pretty?)
(MUST-SEE VIDEO) The Russian national who asked this question of Trump about sanctions, Maria Butina, was just charged with a major crime. There’s *every possibility* that Trump knew this woman when he called on her—as her boss says he’s a friend of Trump. https://t.co/GytXVfE5Fr
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) July 16, 2018
Wait, so you're saying the National Rifle Association might have illegally cut a deal with an oppressive foreign government? That seems totally out of character for an organization run by [checks notes] Oliver North
— David Klion 🔥 (@DavidKlion) July 16, 2018