Russian woman with strong ties to the NRA charged with conspiracy.

By |2018-07-17T16:16:52+00:00July 17th, 2018|Categories: Front Page, News|Tags: , , , , , , |32 Comments

Russians, NRA, Trump Administration, is there really any difference anymore? 

Courtesy of WaPo:

A Russian national with alleged ties to a top Russian official was charged in federal court in Washington Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation and was ordered held without bond.

Maria Butina, 29, was arrested Sunday in the District and made her first appearance in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson. Her attorney, Robert Neil Driscoll, told the judge that Butina’s residence was searched by the FBI in April, that she had testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session several months ago, and that “we have been offering to cooperate with the government the entire time.”

The charges against Butina come days after the Justice Department unveiled an indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly conspiring to hack Democrats in 2016 and just hours after President Trump cast doubt on Russia’s involvement in an extraordinary joint news conference with President Putin.

Butina is accused of developing relationships with American politicians and a “gun rights organization,” none of which are named in the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint. FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson wrote that Butina was attempting to “establish a ‘back channel’ communication for representatives of the Government of Russia.”

The affidavit also contains apparent communications, by direct message on Twitter, between Butina and the unnamed Russian official. “Your political star has risen in the sky,” the official told Butina. “Now it is important to rise to the zenith and not burn out (fall) prematurely,” and they later discussed the “Russia-USA friendship society.”

In 2017, Butina and the official attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, the affidavit states.

That “guns rights organization” is, of course, the NRA. (As if there was any doubt.) 

As  I was reading through this article I kept thinking that this Butina woman sounded familiar to me. 

And I was right, I wrote about her back in March on the old blog:

Just a month after Trump announced his campaign for the White House, he spoke directly to Maria Butina, the protégé of the powerful Russian banking official and Putin ally Alexander Torshin. During a public question and answer session at FreedomFest, a libertarian convention in Las Vegas in July 2015, Butina asked Trump what he would do as president about “damaging” US sanctions. Trump suggested he would get rid of them.

“My question will be about foreign politics,” Butina continued. “If you will be elected as president, what will be your foreign politics especially in the relationships with my country? And do you want to continue the politics of sanctions that are damaging of both economy [sic]? Or you have any other ideas?”

After going off on Obama and digressing into trade policy, Trump responded: “I know Putin, and I’ll tell you what, we get along with Putin… I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin, OK? And I mean, where we have the strength. I don’t think you’d need the sanctions. I think we would get along very, very well.”

So this Russian national, with ties to a Putin ally, was not only able to infiltrate the NRA here in America but also able to get close enough to Trump to ask him a question about how he would treat Russia if he were to be elected president. 

It is like every Russian agent in the country was somehow gaining access to the Trump Campaign, or to Trump himself. 

But keep in mind, according to Trump, there was NO collusion. 

Just a whole lot of coincidences. 

About the Author:

This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies, and holding our politicians and leaders accountable when they fall far short of the promises that they have made to both my fellow Alaskans and the American people.


  1. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Russian foreign agent Maria Butina has been charged with operating as an undisclosed foreign agent, tasked with infiltrating the NRA and other conservative political organizations in the US on behalf of Russia. It turns out her gun rights front group, Right to Bear Arms, paid for Sheriff David Clarke’s trip to Moscow.

  2. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Obama’s Speech Honoring Mandela Seen As ‘Eloquent Rebuke’ To Trump

    …While not directly mentioning his successor, President Donald Trump, Obama’s speech in South Africa countered many of Trump’s policies, rallying people to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, diversity and good education for all.

    Obama opened by describing today’s times as “strange and uncertain,” adding that “each day’s news cycle is bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines.”

    These days “we see much of the world threatening to return to a more dangerous, more brutal, way of doing business,” Obama said.

    His words were met with cheers by a crowd of about 14,000 people gathered at a cricket stadium in Johannesburg for the speech, which was streamed online.

    “Just by standing on the stage honoring Nelson Mandela, Obama is delivering an eloquent rebuke to Trump,” said John Stremlau, professor of international relations at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, who called the timing auspicious as the commitments that defined Mandela’s life are “under assault” in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    “Yesterday we had Trump and Putin standing together, now we are seeing the opposing team: Obama and Mandela.”

    • Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:37 am

      Barack Obama: “The fact that countries which rely on rabid nationalism and xenophobia and doctrines of religious or racial superiority as their main organizing principle … Eventually those countries find themselves consumed by civil or external war.”

      Barack Obama: “Look around. Strongman politics are ascendant, suddenly. Whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained, the form of it, but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.”

      Former Pres. Barack Obama says we are in “strange and uncertain times”: “With each day’s news cycles bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines, I thought maybe it would be useful to step back for a moment and try to get some perspective”

      Barack Obama: “The free press is under attack. Censorship & state control of media is on the rise. Social media, once seen as a mechanism to promote knowledge & understanding … has proved to be just as effective promoting hatred … propaganda & conspiracy theories.”

  3. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Why are there so many “Patriotic Americans” visiting Russia for other than site seeing.

    • Anon July 17, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Family going home? They were afraid.

    • Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      You do realize Russia is open for business don’t you? You can go visit if you like.

      They, while remaining a world power and adversary, are not considered an enemy state.

  4. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Russian MoD says it’s “ready to activate contacts with US colleagues via general staffs and other existing communication channels to discuss extending Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, cooperation in Syria, other current issues of ensuring military security.”

  5. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:34 am

    #Butina is a “honeytrap” spy straight from #Moscow as mentioned in the #SteeleDossier. It’s not just her looks – it’s the Gun Porn and the flattery. She even went to Prayer Breakfast – and as we know, guns and religion are what those guys get off on! #NRABloodMoney

    ‘My last story out of Moscow in 2012 was about a strange young woman trying to get Russia to legalize firearms. Her name was Maria Butina (BOO-tina).

    She took me shooting at a former KGB range. Seems insane now, six years after the fact.’

    The Rise of Russia’s Gun Nuts

    The Kremlin and GOP Have a New Friend—and Boy, Does She Love Guns
    Depending on who’s asking, Maria Butina is either a Russian central bank staffer, a gun rights advocate, or a connection between D.C. Republicans and Russia.

    Just a few years ago, Maria Butina owned a furniture store in Siberia. Now she’s wheeling and dealing with D.C. think-tankers, Republican strategists, and a Russian bank chief with alleged mob connections.

    Depending on the audience, Butina has presented herself as a Russian central bank staffer, a leading gun rights advocate, a “representative of the Russian Federation,” a Washington, D.C., graduate student, a journalist, and a connection between Team Trump and Russia. She used each role to help her gain more high-level contacts in the nation’s capital.

    It’s another chapter in what’s becoming a familiar story in Washington: Kremlin-connected operators building bridges to the GOP.

    Ever since U.S. intelligence services concluded that Russia was meddling in the American presidential elections, Team Trump’s ties to Russia have been highly scrutinized. The president’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned because he misled his bosses about his contacts with the Russian government; and his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, also resigned due to questions about his relationship with Russia.

    Butina’s relationships, formed with Washington’s conservative society through her fierce advocacy for firearms—one conference described her as the “public face of gun rights in the Russian Federation”—provide a previously unreported link between the Russian government and the Republican Party.

    Two of Butina’s friendships in particular have raised eyebrows. She started a business with Paul Erickson, a decades-long Republican Party activist. And she served as a special assistant to the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, Alexander Torshin, a former Russian senator belonging to Vladimir Putin’s political party with alleged ties to the Russian mob world.

    • Anon July 17, 2018 at 7:41 am

      REDdest $parrow

      • Anon July 17, 2018 at 9:16 am

        I just watched this movie Sat night.
        She fits the bill.
        Magic snatch.
        That’s what they teach.

    • abbafan July 17, 2018 at 7:42 am

      LOCK HER UP!!!
      LOCK HER UP!!!

  6. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:41 am

    Two conservatives appearing on an MSNBC panel hosted by Stephanie Ruhle went to a new level of outrage at where President Donald Trump has taken their party after his disastrous press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with one going so far as to call for the president to be censured by Congress.

    …“It’s the musings of an imbecile” Schmidt said of Trump’s press conference in Helsinki. “Trump is what the Russians call a ‘useful idiot,’ someone in service to the Russian Federation, either unwitting or wittingly.”

    “For the first time in the history of the United States, you have an American president who is absolutely unwilling to defend the country from a hostile foreign power that has attacked it,” he exclaimed. “He is faithless to his oath of office. We watched Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and you watch Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and a couple of others [criticize Trump]. What we know for sure is that the Congress under this Republican control is as feckless to American ideals, to the Constitution, to the country, as Donald Trump is.”

    “So Jeff Flake and Snowe and Sasse and all the rest of them can say ‘disgraceful, bad, terrible,’ but they actually have power to do something about it,” he explained. “This is an extraordinary moment, and the Congress is absolutely unwilling to exert oversight over this president. So Sasse and Snowe and Flake have it in their power to cut a deal with the Democrats to remove Sen. Mitch McConnell from power, who’s up in this up to his eyeballs as well.”

    “He [McConnell] was informed before the election that the Russians were meddling by President Obama and refused to take any action on it as well,” he added.

    Republican strategist Evan Siegfried went a step further, calling on Congress to officially censure the president, but also warned that Republicans who oppose the president may pay at the polls as Trump loyalists turn on them.

    According to Steve Schmidt, “So what?” adding voters should either be on “Team America or Team Putin.”

    Watch the videos below via MSNBC:

  7. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Trump bombed with Putin and everyone — even the White House — knows it

    Even Trump’s advisers are cringing after his humiliating and disgraceful performance with Putin.

    …“White House officials openly admitted they don’t know how to respond to questions about Trump’s striking declaration that Putin was ‘extremely strong and powerful in his denial’ of election interference,” CNN reported.

    “How bad was that?” one White House aide back in Washington asked. Others apparently avoided answering their phones, trying to dodge any questions altogether.

    How bad was it? Really bad.

    …Instead of catching Putin by surprise with tough talk, as White House officials apparently — and absurdly — hoped Trump would do, Trump performed exactly as Putin wanted him to.

    He undermined his own experts and advisers, insisted again before all the world that Russia is innocent, and even showered Putin with praise for his “incredible offer” to help with the investigation of the intelligence officers who tried to hijack our presidential election.

    Incredible is right, though Trump doesn’t realize it. Because, as Clinton so rightly said, he is indeed Putin’s willing puppet. And on Monday, much to everyone’s horror, we got a front-row view of Putin pulling the strings.

  8. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:58 am

    The 6 most bizarre moments from Trump’s post-Putin interview with Sean Hannity
    The president claims that the Mueller investigation is driving a “wedge” between US-Russia relations.

    Donald Trump’s pre-taped interview with personal cheerleader and Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night mostly provided Trump a chance to defend — unchallenged — his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

    Trump tried to change the subject from Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election to the so-called “phony witch hunt” — Hannity and Trump’s preferred term for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. There was also a bizarre comparison of Paul Manafort to Al Capone.

    Hannity, for his part, began his segment criticizing the “unhinged” media for lambasting Trump over his performance in Helsinki, and for failing to give him credit for his strategy of “strength, not appeasement,” even though Trump has inspired rare bipartisan condemnation, including from some of his most loyal supporters, for capitulating to Putin on the international stage.

    Overall, the interview was likely a preview of the spin that Fox News and the Trump administration will be pushing out in the days and weeks to come — and as the special counsel’s investigation continues to intensify.

  9. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 7:59 am

    The 6 most bizarre moments from Trump’s post-Putin interview with Sean Hannity
    The president claims that the Mueller investigation is driving a “wedge” between US-Russia relations.

    Donald Trump’s pre-taped interview with personal cheerleader and Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night mostly provided Trump a chance to defend — unchallenged — his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

    Trump tried to change the subject from Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election to the so-called “phony witch hunt” — Hannity and Trump’s preferred term for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. There was also a bizarre comparison of Paul Manafort to Al Capone.

    Hannity, for his part, began his segment criticizing the “unhinged” media for lambasting Trump over his performance in Helsinki, and for failing to give him credit for his strategy of “strength, not appeasement,” even though Trump has inspired rare bipartisan condemnation, including from some of his most loyal supporters, for capitulating to Putin on the international stage.

    Overall, the interview was likely a preview of the spin that Fox News and the Trump administration will be pushing out in the days and weeks to come — and as the special counsel’s investigation continues to intensify.

  10. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 8:00 am

    A simple analogy for understanding Trump’s Putin meeting

    • anon July 17, 2018 at 9:10 am

      “a complete disinterest in understanding why things are the way they are — is leading Trump to advocate potentially deadly positions.”
      “Trump has never demonstrated any understanding of how NATO actually works, or the reasons it’s been a historically effective defense pact. Instead, he’s attacked NATO on the grounds that NATO allies owe the United States money in exchange for its pledge to defend them — which is flatly untrue. ”
      ‘I think the United States has been foolish. I think we have all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time frankly before I got to office. I think we’re all to blame. I think that the United States now has stepped forward along with Russia. We’re getting together and we have a chance to do some great things.’ “On Russia, as on NATO and trade and a host of other issues, he’s shown himself to be completely ignorant of the fundamental structure of international politics, of the logic that has governed America’s approach to world politics since 1945. What’s more, he’s made no demonstrable progress in learning during his year and a half in office. He’s confident in his own knowledge” ‘Trump won’t read anything — not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers, nothing,” ” “He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored.”’ “the President has lost his mind.” “CONsequences be damned.”

  11. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Donald Trump is not delusional
    White House aides want you to believe the president stands with Putin because he doesn’t get what’s going on.

    Top aides at the White House are peddling a remarkable excuse for President Donald Trump’s embarrassing performance at a press conference in Helsinki on Monday, where he sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin over American intelligence officials on the question of whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

    The president, they tell Axios’s Jonathan Swan, is delusional:

    A number of people who’ve discussed election meddling with Trump, including current senior administration officials, say his brain can’t process that collusion and cyberattacks are two different things, Swan emails.

    Trump seems constitutionally incapable of taking anything Mueller finds seriously.

    He views the entire exercise as a “witch hunt” cooked up by Democrats and Deep State conspirators to underline his election win.

    Ego prevents him acknowledging the possibility that any external action could have interfered with his glorious victory.

    The handful of White House staff Swan has privately communicated with since today’s press conference are not proud of the man they work for. But he doesn’t expect any to resign.

    Okay. Here’s the thing: If Trump’s aides actually believed this, wouldn’t they do something about it? The fact that they haven’t — aside from speaking anonymously to a reporter about it — suggests they don’t actually believe it.

  12. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

    Remote-access software and modems on election equipment ‘is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.’

    The nation’s top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them.

    In a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April and obtained recently by Motherboard, Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had “provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.

    The statement contradicts what the company told me and fact checkers for a story I wrote for the New York Times in February. At that time, a spokesperson said ES&S had never installed pcAnywhere on any election system it sold. “None of the employees, … including long-tenured employees, has any knowledge that our voting systems have ever been sold with remote-access software,” the spokesperson said.

  13. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 8:51 am
  14. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Trump Told Woman Charged As Kremlin Agent He’d Drop Russia Sanctions
    “We get along with Putin,” Trump told Mariia Butina during his campaign.

    In an early campaign video, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump told a woman at the libertarian FreedomFest in Las Vegas that he’d likely drop sanctions against Russia if elected.

    Multiple media outlets have reported that the woman was Russian gun rights activist Mariia Butina, who was charged in federal court on Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation.

    The 2015 video suggests Butina was already hovering around Trump at the start of his campaign. Trump’s comments also expose his early tolerance toward Russia — expressed in the extreme after his Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

    When Butina asked Trump about his position on Russia, he replied: “I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin … I don’t think you’d need the sanctions. I think we would get along very, very well.”

  15. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Trump’s behavior is not surprising — he is a Russian stooge

    There were at least six topics that Donald Trump could have forcefully raised with Russia’s Vladimir Putin at Monday’s so-called summit in Helsinki, Finland. Any other president would have.

    First was Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

    Second was Russia’s presence in Syria.

    Third was the unlawful Russian annexation of Crimea.

    Fourth was Russia’s intrusion into eastern Ukraine.

    Fifth was Russia’s continued and ominous expressions of “concern” for Russian speakers in the Baltic states, particularly Latvia and Estonia, that echo some of the rhetoric prior to Putin’s actions in Ukraine.

    Sixth was Russia’s possible help to North Korea given Putin, after all, was reportedly the one who suggested Trump scrap joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises.

    But it’s the first lost opportunity that was most astonishing. Trump didn’t criticize the Russians. Instead, he backed Putin’s laughable denials that Russia had meddled in American politics, sneering at U.S. intelligence and justice officials who beg to differ.

    Trump was given plenty of ammunition to confront Putin by the remarkable set of indictments issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller last week in his ongoing investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

    The indictments contain such detailed information that they, in effect, sent a message to the Kremlin and its military intelligence branch, the GRU, all but declaring: “We know who you are and where you live.”

    ‘A powerful tool’
    In the hands of a legitimate president, the indictments would have been a powerful tool at such a summit. Trump’s refusal to accept the information, and likely any additional information, from his own intelligence community in order to stand beside Putin and deny Russian involvement has sent the world into shock.

    But not yours truly.

    As an expert in U.S.-Russia relations who advised the Bill Clinton White House, I believe that what Trump did is perfectly understandable if you believe, as I have argued recently, that he’s a Russian stooge.

  16. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 9:33 am

    GOP operative nails Trump on Fox News: Nothing does more to undermine his presidency than him

    …“On the world stage, you are not afforded the luxury as president of the United States at dividing what are American institutions — being the intelligence community and the FBI — from your administration as a whole in front of foreign adversaries,” the operative said. “You just aren’t. That’s not a luxury the president of the United States has.”

    “By continuing to give his critics fodder to suggest that somehow he is hiding something on Russia does more to undermine his presidency and the end of [special counsel Robert Mueller’s] investigation than anything else he can do,” Holmes continued. “I think that was a mistake.”

    Holmes added that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and others who have claimed the president is being criticized merely for interacting with Russia “are missing the point.”

    “If you’re going to go on a foreign stage, you represent the United States of America as a whole and you don’t bring your petty political squabbles with you,” he concluded.

    Watch below, via Fox News:

  17. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Trump telling us in words and actions that he has picked a side. He is kissing the ring of a man that is actively hacking our infrastructure and insulting the work of our Intelligence Community that is trying to protect us.

  18. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Here is @HillaryClinton in 2016, breaking down exactly what would come to fruition between Trump and Putin. She warned us, she warned us all.

  19. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 10:48 am

    An incredible piece of labor-intensive journalism and well worth your time.


    Russia hackers pursued Putin foes, not just US Democrats

    It wasn’t just Hillary Clinton’s emails they went after.

    The hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election last year had ambitions that stretched across the globe, targeting the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to a previously unpublished digital hit list obtained by The Associated Press.

    The list provides the most detailed forensic evidence yet of the close alignment between the hackers and the Russian government, exposing an operation that went back years and tried to break into the inboxes of 4,700 Gmail users — from the pope’s representative in Kiev to the punk band Pussy Riot in Moscow. The targets were spread among 116 countries.

    “It’s a wish list of who you’d want to target to further Russian interests,” said Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center in Cambridge, England, and one of five outside experts who reviewed the AP’s findings. He said the data was “a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence.”

    The AP findings draw on a database of 19,000 malicious links collected by cybersecurity firm Secureworks, dozens of rogue emails, and interviews with more than 100 hacking targets.

    Secureworks stumbled upon the data after a hacking group known as Fancy Bear accidentally exposed part of its phishing operation to the internet. The list revealed a direct line between the hackers and the leaks that rocked the presidential contest in its final stages, most notably the private emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

    The issue of who hacked the Democrats is back in the national spotlight following the revelation Monday that a Donald Trump campaign official, George Papadopoulos, was briefed early last year that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton, including “thousands of emails.”

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the notion that Russia interfered “unfounded.” But the list examined by AP provides powerful evidence that the Kremlin did just that.

    “This is the Kremlin and the general staff,” said Andras Racz, a specialist in Russian security policy at Pazmany Peter Catholic University in Hungary, as he examined the data.

    “I have no doubts.”


    Secureworks’ list covers the period between March 2015 and May 2016. Most of the identified targets were in the United States, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Syria.

    In the United States, which was Russia’s Cold War rival, Fancy Bear tried to pry open at least 573 inboxes belonging to those in the top echelons of the country’s diplomatic and security services: then-Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, then-NATO Supreme Commander, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, and one of his predecessors, U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark.

    The list skewed toward workers for defense contractors such as Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin or senior intelligence figures, prominent Russia watchers and — especially — Democrats. More than 130 party workers, campaign staffers and supporters of the party were targeted, including Podesta and other members of Clinton’s inner circle.

    The AP also found a handful of Republican targets.

  20. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Next we will find out that Melanomia is really KGB !!!!! because absolutely nothing will surprise me with that nut in the WH at this point.

    • Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      Curious you would say that, I have had the same idea for a long time.

  21. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Maria Butina was charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia, and conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia. The first charge is aimed directly at her, and seems to be all about ensuring that she goes to prison. The second charge is aimed at establishing that her behavior was part of a criminal conspiracy, and it’s for largely the same reason Robert Mueller just indicted a dozen Russian government spies whom he’ll never be able to arrest.

    By legally establishing that a criminal conspiracy existed, you lay the ground work for criminally charging others who participated in that conspiracy. So while the timing of the Butina arrest was all about the Trump-Putin summit, the reason for her arrest appears to be centered around indicting her alleged co-conspirators. So who are they?

    The potential list is a long one. Maria Butina was officially working for Russian politician Alexander Torshin. Is Robert Mueller really about to indict the former chairman of the upper house of the Russian Parliament? Maybe. But this would seem to be more focused on the numerous Americans who met with or worked with Butina. That list includes Republican members of Congress, current and former Republican Governors, and the uppermost leadership of the NRA. The Butina rabbit hole runs deep – and the charges against her are tailor made for criminally indicting Americans next.

    Maria Butina has already spilled her guts about Trump-Russia

    …Although the timing was pretty clearly aimed at screwing with whatever Donald Trump was plotting with Vladimir Putin during their summit, the arrest of Maria Butina didn’t come out of nowhere. This evening it was revealed on the Rachel Maddow show that Butina secretly testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee months ago. That’s the one committee that’s doing a legitimate bipartisan job of investigating Trump-Russia. If Butina had failed to be forthcoming, they’d have held her in contempt and arrested her themselves. That committee has also been working in lockstep with Mueller.

    So not only did Maria Butina spill her guts to the Senate Intel Committee, that committee ostensibly passed it along to Robert Mueller. This is in addition to the evidence obtained during the FBI’s raid of Butina’s home in April, which is just now being revealed. So Mueller already has the intel he needs from her. Considering how many Republican politicians have met with Butina over the past few years, this is huge. It’s also a reminder of two things about the Trump-Russia investigation at large.

    First, it tells us that the Senate Intel Committee has been interviewing Trump-Russia players that we don’t even know about. Who else has secretly appeared before that committee? Second, it tells us that Robert Mueller is so far ahead of the game, it’s difficult to even keep track of the trajectory. He’s already had information from Maria Butina for months. He and the Feds presumably chose to arrest her now just to screw with Trump and Putin at their most vulnerable.

  22. Anonymous July 17, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Wow, listen to this KGB guy give the inside track on Russia.

    On Tuesday, Jack Barsky — author and former sleeper agent of the KGB – appeared on Fox News to lend his expertise to the arrest of Maria Butina Sunday night.

Comments are closed.