Maria Butina, a 30-year-old Russian gun rights activist who stands accused developing a covert influence operation in the United States, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and cooperate with federal, state and local authorities in any ongoing investigations.
She admits, as part of the deal, according to a copy obtained by ABC News that is expected to be filed to the court, that she and an unnamed “U.S. Person 1,” which sources have identified as longtime Republican operative Paul Erickson, with whom she had a multiyear romantic relationship, “agreed and conspired, with a Russian government official (“Russian Official”) and at least one other person, for Butina to act in the United States under the direction of Russian Official without prior notification to the Attorney General.”
courtesy of ABC News
Looks like the witch hunt has snagged another witch. This one has a conspiracy label on her garments, and the implications can be far-reaching beyond the current scope of the Special Counsel investigation.
If you remember, Butina was heavily involved with the NRA. She attended conventions here and also hosted numerous Americans in Russia. She was also an up and coming protegé of Alexander Torshin, a top politician in the ruling party of Vladimir Putin, and they were working towards the goal of making inroads and connections with people within the US political scene.
In her own words:
It may take the election of a Republican to the White House in 2016 to improve relations between the Russian Federation and the United States. As improbable as it may sound, the Russian bear shares more interests with the Republican elephant than the Democratic donkey.
That she’s entering a plea deal that may involve conspiracy charges should be a surprise to no one. The only thing that will be a surprise will be if she spills the beans and how much factual and credible information she gives up.
The information that may be uncovered could reverberate through the entire US political system as the NRA has funded countless politicians on all levels of government. If the NRA is found to have funneled foreign donations into political campaigns, then being bankrupt is the least of their worries.
As expected, Twitter feeds for the NRA and their spokespeople are silent about this story, and I don’t expect anything to change in the near future. After all, hunting season still in effect, and Mueller and his team are still wearing Mossy Oak and loaded for bear.