Top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee want to know whether National Security Adviser John Bolton disclosed his ties to suspected Russian spy Maria Butina before he was appointed to his role by President Donald Trump, The Hill reports.
Bolton reportedly appeared with Butina in a video roundtable discussion about gun rights when he was a top official with the National Rifle Association. Butina was charged by federal prosecutors in July with infiltrating the NRA and spying on the U.S.
“Given the alarming and unprecedented nature of these revelations — and the high-level position of trust Mr. Bolton now holds — we request that you produce documents relating to whether Mr. Bolton reported his previous work with this alleged Russian spy on his security clearance forms or other White House vetting materials prior to President Trump appointing him to his current position,” Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts wrote to White House chief of staff John Kelly requesting information from Bolton’s security clearance application, renewal applications or amendments he submitted over the past seven years.
NPR reported the video’s existence in March, saying it was used as a promotion by the Russian gun rights group Right to Bear Arms in 2013 to encourage the Russian government to loosen gun laws. Bolton in the video expressed support for amending the Russian constitution to include broader gun rights and offered the Russian people, “encouragement as you consider embracing that freedom.”
Butina formed Right to Bear Arms in 2011.
Government officials must provide a wide range of information about their contacts with foreign citizens, foreign business and professional activities, foreign government contacts and any advice they provided or consultancy arrangements they had with foreign entities, according to a news release from Cummings’ office.
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