A Russian-American woman accused of illegally acting as a Russian agent made only one small political donation — and it was to the 2020 presidential campaign of former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, according to campaign finance records.
Branson, who is accused of running a Russian "propaganda center" in New York for nearly a decade, only donated to Gabbard during that period, according to Federal Election Commission records first flagged by The Daily Beast.
The Daily Beast observed that the donations "raise questions about why an alleged Russian agent tasked with currying favor with U.S. politicians would zero in on Gabbard, and only Gabbard.".
The DOJ said that Branson provided Hawaiian officials with "messages from Russian officials" and also organized "a trip for Hawaiian officials to Moscow to meet with high-ranking Russian Government personnel.".
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It's unclear whether Gabbard had any contact with Branson or Russian officials.
Branson was charged with six criminal counts, including failing to register as a foreign agent and making false statements to the FBI. »