A joint congressional inquiry is demanding that National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre hand over internal documents showing whether the NRA made “illegal, excessive, and unreported in-kind donations” to the campaigns of Donald Trump and several GOP Senate candidates, The Trace reports. The probe is based on a series of investigative reports published by The Trace laying out evidence that the NRA and its vendors used apparent shell companies to evade rules prohibiting coordination between outside groups and the campaigns they support.
The probe is being led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland. “The evidence shows the NRA is moving money through a complex web of shell organizations to avoid campaign finance rules and boost candidates willing to carry their water,” Whitehouse told The Trace. “And if the NRA can weave such a web, so can Vladimir Putin and others trying to undermine our democracy. We need the truth about this scheme or else special interests like the gun lobby or foreign interests like Russia can flaunt the law and erode the integrity of our elections.”