Having failed to prove that President Donald Trump engaged in illegal activity during his presidential campaign, Democrats are desperately chasing any lead that may show impropriety among Trump supporters. The latest Democrat attempt is to find illegal fundraising on the part of the National Rifle Association. This week, two House Democrats wrote to the NRA, asking about their connections to Russia.
The Mueller probe has already scored an indictment against Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina for failing to register as a foreign agent. Butina and her mentor Aleksander Torshin are longtime gun rights activists in Russia. However, the FBI believes that Butina and Torshin may also be tools of Russian intelligence, who have tried to influence the views of American conservatives. Also, any support that Russia gave the NRA may have indirectly been used to help advance the NRA’s political agenda, including the election of Trump.
In 2014, Butina attended a NRA convention, and in 2015 asked Trump a loaded question during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. Butina asked Trump if he would promise to end sanctions against Russia, which, according to her, have hurt both countries’ economies. Trump responded with generic rhetoric and promises that he would do better than then-President Barack Obama, but made no promises about lifting sanctions. However, several liberal publications, such as this Huffington Post article and this Mother Jones article, mischaracterized Trump’s comments as promising favors to the Russians.
Russian intelligence may have used Butina and the NRA as a backchannel to convincing Trump and his supporters to advance a pro-Russian agenda, but this effort has failed dramatically. Trump has increased sanctions on Russia and Russians, not decreased them. American troops and allies have killed over 200 Russians in Syria since Trump took office; under President Obama, no Russians were killed in Syria.
Yet, despite this record on Russia, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe still believes that Trump is possibly a Russian agent.
McCabe’s beliefs prove only that Republican investigations into the FBI are not the moral equivalent of these Democratic inquiries into areas covered by the Mueller probe. The GOP probe was necessary to show the extreme anti-Trump bias of the FBI, while the Democratic probe exists for one reason: because the Democrats cannot admit that Americans honestly reject their agenda. Democrats are convinced that some malignant force must have influenced American voters.