Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has ties to a Tennessee lawyer who is said to have introduced a Russian politician to the National Rifle Association, which has been accused of funneling foreign money to help President Donald Trump’s campaign.
The Tennessean first reported on Tuesday that Blackburn is a client of G. Kline Preston, IV, who also has clients in Russia and Ukraine.
“Among Preston’s Russian clients and longtime friends is Alexander Torshin, a prominent Russian politician who has close ties to President Vladimir Putin. Torshin is under scrutiny for illegally channeling Russian funds to the National Rifle Association in an effort to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” the paper notes. “Preston first introduced Torshin to then-president of the NRA David Keene in 2011 and the pair attended the NRA’s annual convention in Nashville in 2015.”
According to federal filings, Preston represented Blackburn in 2005 when she was accused of violating campaign finance laws.
The Tennessean points out that a spokesperson for Blackburn refused to elaborate on the relationship between Preston, Blackburn and her family.
“Congressman Blackburn believes Russia is not our friend,” Blackburn’s spokesperson said in a statement. “[W]e need to be strong enough to prevent them from pushing the United States and our allies around, and we need to draw firm lines and show them that America is not to be trifled with.”