Spoiler alert: He just may be the Congressman referred to in the indictment.
Courtesy of Politico:
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) says he’s not sure whether he’s the congressman mentioned in Monday’s indictment of a Russian gun-rights activist for acting as an unregistered agent of the Kremlin — but he is sure that the charge against the woman is “bogus.”
The indictment of 29-year-old Mariia Butina notes that she had discussions with a prominent Russian official — believed to be Alexander Torshin — about his plans to “meet with a U.S. Congressman during a Congressional Delegation trip to Moscow in August 2015.”
Rohrabacher said on Tuesday that he was part of that delegation, but he said he was there with at least one other lawmaker and a larger group of Americans.
“I know I had dinner with [Butina] along with another member, along with a visiting delegation to Russia,” he said. “Is that something we should be worried about?”
Rohrabacher unloaded on the indictment, which alleged clandestine efforts by Butina to set up a back channel between Russian and American political leaders, using the National Rifle Association as a conduit.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s stupid,” Rohrabacher said. “She’s the assistant of some guy who is the head of the bank and is a member of their Parliament. That’s what we call a spy? That shows you how bogus this whole thing is.”
“This is an attempt to undermine the president’s ability to have better relationships with Russia,” he added.
Wow! Nothing says I did nothing wrong like challenging the validity of an indictment against a Russian national which could also suggest that you might have been facilitating her access to members of your party and others in positions of power.
Oh by the way, according to the Washington Post she was also in constant contact with her handlers:
The Russian woman arrested on charges of being a foreign agent had ties to Russian intelligence operatives and was in contact with them while in the United States, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. Maria Butina also had ties to wealthy businessmen linked to the Putin administration and appeared to have plans to flee the U.S., prosecutors said in a new court filing.
There is also this interesting bit of info courtesy of Raw Story:
In a new court filing, the FBI alleges that Butina during her time in the United States cohabitated with an unidentified 56-year-old man as part of her cover while conducting her work in the United States.
“Butina, age 29, and U.S. Person 1, age 56, are believed to have cohabitated and been involved in a personal relationship during the course of Butina’s activities in the United States,” the filing states. “But this relationship does not represent a strong tie to the United States because Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities.”
To back up this assertion, the FBI goes on to claim that “on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than U.S. Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization.”
It is not known from the filing what job Butina was seeking or whether her offer of sex in exchange for the job was accepted, however.
Things that make you bo “Hmm.”
Methinks that it is entirely possible that Rep. Rohrabacher is feeling a certain level of panic right about now.