A key figure was included on the Treasury Department’s newly released list of Russian individuals facing U.S. sanctions: Russian banker and lifetime National Rifle Association member Aleksandr Torshin.
Torshin, deputy governor of the state-owned central bank, is reportedly under FBI investigation for illegally funneling donations to the NRA to support Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
He is among the seven Russian oligarchs, 12 Russian companies and 17 senior Russian government officials hit with sanctions.
Per the Treasury Department’s release, those individuals and entities’ U.S. assets are now frozen, they cannot travel to the U.S. and “U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealings with them.”
Torshin has for years cultivated a close relationship with NRA leadership, attending the gun group’s annual conventions and hosting their delegations in Moscow. He unsuccessfully tried to leverage those NRA connections to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign.
The NRA has acknowledged receiving a donation of less than $1,000 from Torshin for his lifetime membership. The gun group insists it never used foreign contributions for election-related activities, and did not respond to TPM’s inquiries about whether it received additional donations from Torshin or other Russian individuals.
Democrats celebrated the imposition of sanctions.
“By isolating Putin’s regime and financially punishing his support base among the oligarchs, we may be able to induce a change in Moscow’s behavior,” Rep. Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said in a statement, saying the sanctions of individuals like Torshin “will send a strong message to the Kremlin.”