Democrats Ask If Bolton Revealed Any Contacts With Alleged Russian Agent

(Bloomberg) -- Two House Democrats want the White House to say whether National Security Adviser John Bolton disclosed any contacts with Maria Butina, the 29-year-old gun rights activist charged with being a Russian agent, in his security clearance forms.

The request was made by Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform panel and Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the panel’s national security subcommittee, in a letter Monday to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

They cite news reports, including some saying Bolton appeared by video in 2013 in a roundtable forum on gun rights that may have been organized by Butina, at the request of then National Rifle Association President David Keene.

In the video, Bolton expresses his support for amending the Russian constitution to include broader gun rights, the reports say. The National Security Council declined to comment on the Democrats’ letter.

Butina was arrested on July 15, accused by federal prosecutors of attempting to influence American politics by infiltrating groups such as the NRA. She’s the latest Russian to be charged in an expanding investigation that has led to the indictment of Russian military intelligence officers who allegedly stole and disseminated emails from Democratic groups. She has pleaded not guilty.

“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,” the Democrats wrote.

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