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Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee Make Slanderous Statements About The NRA

This conspiracy theory has been circulating for a while, and liberals have used it to bash their two biggest bogeymen

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Stranger bedfellows! On Wednesday, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a report in which they claimed that Russia used the National Rifle Association (NRA) to aid President Trump‘s 2016 campaign.

According to The Hill:

“The Committee has obtained a number of documents that suggest the Kremlin used the National Rifle Association as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his campaign,” the document reads.

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The Democrats identified two figures of particular interest: Maria Butina, a Russian national living in the U.S., and Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia. The Democrats noted that Butina, who worked as an assistant to Torshin, has refused to cooperate as a witness.

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The document says that Butina and Torshin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, were key parts of the Kremlin’s effort to use the NRA to aid Trump.

“[Butina and Torshin] repeatedly offered the campaign back channels to Russia and relayed requests from President Putin to meet with Mr. Trump,” the committee said.

Both Butina and Torshin have ties to former NRA President David Keene and hosted him for a pro-gun conference in Russia. Butina founded Right to Bear Arms, the Russian equivalent of the NRA, and also started a business with former Trump adviser Paul Erickson.

The Hill further states that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is reportedly investigating allegations that the NRA accepted illegal contributions from Russians in the 2016 campaign. The pro-Second Amendment group and its lobbying arm spent $30 million in support of the Trump’s campaign.

Democrats say Erickson and Keene have refused to cooperate with their witch hunt.

This conspiracy theory has been circulating for a while, and liberals have used it to bash their two biggest bogeymen — the NRA and Donald Trump. In April, the Federalist noted that the NRA answered allegations brought by Democrat Senator Ron Wyden:

This document (also known as a “letter”) prompted headlines that ranged from “The NRA received donations from Russian nationals” to “NRA discloses additional contributions from Russian donors.” All of which probably sounded pretty damning to anyone who didn’t read past a headline. Those who did, on the other hand, would soon learn that Russian “nationals” meant 23 “Russian-linked” individuals — some of them Americans citizens living in Russia — who had contributed around $2,300 total, mostly in membership dues, over three years’ time. Approximately $525 of that sum came from “two individuals who made contributions to the NRA.”

$525.

NPR has likely spent far more than $2,300 tracking the story.

It is true that an NRA spokesperson, asked about Torshin, initially claimed that he knew of only one Russian who had contributed to the organization. As it turns out, there were a couple dozen, out of millions of members and donations over the past three years. The NRA does itself no favors answering politically motivated questions in the first place. Because Wyden, who apparently subscribes to The New York Times’ notion that defending your rights just makes you seem guilty, told ABC News that he is now considering ‘additional oversight actions.’ Why? One imagines, because the NRA didn’t come back with an answer that implicated itself in shady behavior. Which is how an open-ended smear works.

It’s interesting to note that much of the so-called “mainstream media” and far-left outlets are reporting this as though the entire committee released the report. This is not true. The Daily Beast, for example, reported that “the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that the Russian government apparently used the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016,” conveniently omitting the fact that it was the Democratic members of the committee was responsible for the report.

Cross-Posted With Conservative Firing Line

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Trump Steps Back From Insurrection Act, But Not Before Military Leaders Issue Strong Rebuke

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President Donald Trump has signaled that he is going to step back from threats he’s made concerning the deployment of federal troops to states that are refusing to use the military to quell riots and violent protests, but not before leaders in the military issued sharp rebukes for his position on the matter. Trump spoke with with former White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Newsmax TV Wednesday saying, “I don’t think we’ll have to,” referring, of course, to the invoking of the Insurrection Act, which would dispatch active-duty military troops on the streets to help reign in the current chaos. “We have very strong powers to do it. The National Guard is customary, and we have a very powerful National Guard, over 300,000 men and women, and we can do pretty much whatever we want as far as that,” the president said. “But as far as going beyond that, sure, if it was necessary.” via The Washington Examiner: On a leaked call Monday, Trump called governors “weak” and urged them, with the backing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, to call up more National Guard members to quell protests in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” he said. Esper went on to say on Wednesday morning that the military lexicon was inappropriate. “I’ve always believed and continue to believe that the National Guard is best suited for performing domestic support to civil authorities in these situations,” Esper stated. “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.” The former National Guardsman…

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Lindsey Graham Weighs In On Mattis Criticism of Trump, Says He’s ‘Buying Into A Narrative’

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South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham weighed in on some rather brutal comments made by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis about President Donald Trump, stating that he was “buying into a narrative” after slamming the president for his handling of the riots and protests in light of the death of George Floyd. Graham made an appearance on Fox & Friends where he said that Mattis isn’t understanding, despite the several years he spent serving in his administration, that Trump is the victim of a political blame game. “The one thing I would tell Gen. Mattis is that you don’t quite understand that from the time President Trump wakes up until he goes to bed, there’s an effort to destroy his presidency. … Nobody wants to send active-duty troops into American cities unless they are invited and unless they are absolutely necessary,” Graham said during the interview. Here’s more from The Washington Examiner: “But I would say that Gov. Cuomo should have called out the National Guard early on, and I would ask Gen. Mattis to look at the behavior of the politicians in these cities and see if you can find fault with them,” he said, referring to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “It is so fashionable to blame President Trump for every wrong in America, and he can be a handful, and can he do better? Yes. But the problems we have in America today weren’t caused by Donald Trump, and hopefully, he can help the nation heal some of these problems.” Mattis claimed that Trump was ordering the National Guard to “violate the constitutional rights of their fellow citizens” so that the president could have a “bizarre photo op” in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House on Monday. Trump responded to Mattis’s condemnation by tweeting,…

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