Dems probing whether NRA made illegal contributions to Trump

Dems probing whether NRA made illegal contributions to Trump
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A pair of Democratic lawmakers are probing whether the National Rifle Association (NRA) violated campaign finance laws by coordinating communications with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE's 2016 campaign and other GOP campaigns.

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHouse gears up for Mueller testimony Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment How Trump suddenly brought Democrats together on a resolution condemning him MORE (D-Md.) and Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseHillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime Overnight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits MORE (D-R.I.) wrote in a letter to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre that media companies the NRA reportedly used to purchase political ads were also employed by the Trump campaign and other Republicans.

"The relationship between the firms the NRA employed and the firms the Trump Campaign and other Republican candidates used suggests illegal coordination," they wrote in the letter dated Wednesday.

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The letter notes that "the NRA spent over $50 million on 'independent' expenditures" that supported Republican candidates, including Trump, during the 2016 election.

The Democratic lawmakers are requesting a series of documents from the NRA by March 6, including emails with five media consulting firms and the names of employees they communicated with at the companies.

They separately noted in letters to the companies that "a payment for a coordinated communication is an in-kind contribution to a candidate," adding, "the NRA may have violated contribution limits under the Federal Election Campaign Act by making coordinated communications in excess of applicable contribution caps."

The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Thursday.

House Democrats have previously indicated their interest in looking into ties between the NRA, Russia and the 2016 presidential election. 

“We know that the NRA spent a historic amount of money on the 2016 elections to help not just Donald Trump get elected but also a number of senators and members of Congress. We want to know where that money came from,” Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment House Democrat says he still gets told to 'go back' to China Ted Lieu: Trump a 'racist ass' MORE (D-Calif.) said in December.