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Newly Uncovered Emails Just Linked The NRA To Russian Spy’s Jet Fuel Scandal


Newly Uncovered Emails Just Linked The NRA To Russian Spy’s Jet Fuel Scandal

According to hundreds of emails obtained by The New York Times, the wife of David Keene, a former president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), tapped accused Russian agent Maria Butina to secure a jet fuel deal with Russia.

The emails revealed that Donna Keene, a Washington lobbyist, asked Butina and her boyfriend at the time, GOP operative Paul Erickson, to secure five million barrels of jet fuel in exchange for $1 million, the Times reports.

Keene reportedly connected Butina and Erickson with prospective buyers, including Israeli-American salesman Yoni Wiss.

“I knew they didn’t have any clue, because there’s no port in the world that could hold the amount of oil they were saying they could sell,” Wiss told the newspaper.

Federal prosecutors are accusing Butina of attempting to infiltrate organizations with close ties to the GOP, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), in order to operate a secret influence campaign on behalf of the Russian government.

The emails reveal Erickson aided Butina in writing emails to Keene Butina reportedly presented herself as a middle-man between Russian officials and her contacts in the U.S., writing in one email, “I keep the details of all sides.”

The deal ultimately fell through because Erickson and Butina could not secure the amount of fuel Keene was looking for, according to the Times.

Butina is currently in a Virginia jail awaiting trial. During her indictment, the Department of Justice said that Butina was being directed by a “high-level” Russian official as she cultivated relationships with the NRA and with conservative politicians from 2015 to 2017.

The 29-year-old Russian spy allegedly said that she targeted the NRA because they have a “central place and influence” in the U.S. and that they are the “largest sponsor of the elections to the U.S. Congress.”

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