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Thu Apr 25, 2019, 12:53 PM

Revelations in Maria Butina Case Highlight Russia's Infiltration Efforts in 2016

David Corn
Washington, DC, Bureau Chief

... In preparation for a sentencing hearing for Butina scheduled for this coming Friday, the Justice Department submitted a memo requesting that Butina, who faces a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine, be imprisoned for 18 months. This document depicts Butina running a covert operation to obtain influence for Russia in the United States—with a key target being the National Rifle Association. In contrast, the Mueller report did not explain the counterintelligence aspects of the Trump-Russia scandal. That is, the report did not cover whether the curious series of interactions between the Trump camp and Russians during the campaign were part of a Moscow scheme to penetrate Trump’s circle to develop access and influence. (The report did state that the “Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” and noted that Trump denied the attack was underway while seeking to benefit from it.) Counterintelligence investigations—different from criminal inquiries—rarely become public and often depend on top-secret material that the US intelligence community hates to reveal. Yet it was a counterintelligence concern that first triggered the FBI investigation of contacts between Trump associates and Russians in the summer of 2016. US intelligence wanted to know if Putin’s regime was attempting to get its hooks into Trump or people within his orbit.

... the Justice Department filing in the Butina case details how Butina, the thirtysomething Russian native who described herself as a gun rights advocate, had used the NRA and the Republican Party in an effort to obtain clandestine influence for Moscow within US politics. And that submission included a statement from a former top FBI counterintelligence expert who noted that Butina’s activities had “tremendous intelligence value” for the Russian government and the potential for “harm to the integrity of the United States’ political processes and internal government dealings, as well as to US foreign policy interests and national security” ...

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/04/new-revelations-in-maria-butina-case-highlight-russias-infiltration-efforts-in-2016/

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Reply Revelations in Maria Butina Case Highlight Russia's Infiltration Efforts in 2016 (Original post)
struggle4progress Apr 2019 OP
struggle4progress Apr 2019 #1
bluestarone Apr 2019 #2
struggle4progress Apr 2019 #3
True Blue American Apr 2019 #5
struggle4progress Apr 2019 #4

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 12:56 PM

1. NRA donated 'up to 9,259 times the limit' to Trump's campaign, according to new lawsuit

BY TODD NEIKIRK
April 25, 2019

Between the connection to mass shootings and entanglements with Maria Butina, it is a difficult time for the NRA ... The worst news for the NRA, however, may be a new lawsuit filed against the Federal Exchange Commission. The FEC is being sued by nonprofit group, Giffords, for failing to uphold financial laws allegedly broken by the NRA:

Plaintiff’s complaints demonstrate that the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by using a complex network of shell corporations to unlawfully coordinate expenditures with the campaigns of at least seven candidates for federal office, thereby making millions of dollars of illegal, unreported, and excessive in-kind contributions, including up to $25 million in illegal contributions to now President Donald J. Trump...


https://hillreporter.com/nra-donated-up-to-9259-times-the-limit-to-trumps-campaign-according-to-new-lawsuit-32795

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:00 PM

2. Just wondering if there are any STATE charges possible?

If so maybe that will stop BARR from interfering. We need her to testify in the House!

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:00 PM

3. Takeaways from Butina's sentencing memo



By TIM DICKINSON

... Butina finally reveals the jaw-dropping purpose of her shadowy corporation “Bridges LLC”: To get Vladimir Putin a cable TV show in America ...

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/maria-butina-sentencing-memo-bridges-putin-826755/

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:04 PM

5. Barr wants her sent back to Russia

For her jail time. Go figure.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:03 PM

4. Butina loses effort to exclude Feds' new claims from her sentencing

By Tierney Sneed
April 25, 2019 12:29 pm

... “Butina provided Russia with information that has tremendous intelligence value,” , the ex-FBI agent, Robert Anderson, said in a declaration submitted by prosecutors as part of their sentencing recommendation for her last week.

He claimed that it was the type of information that “skilled intelligence officers can exploit for years and that may cause significant damage to the United States.”

Butina’s lawyers had sought to strike Anderson’s declaration and block him from taking the bench at her sentencing hearing on Friday. They claimed that prosecutors were “sandbagging” Butina by rolling out a “new theory for the first time in the metaphorical bottom of the ninth inning.”

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan denied that request on Thursday. Her brief order pointed to case law allowing courts to consider information “largely unlimited” in type or source. She also noted that Butina had declined her offer to push back the sentencing date so she could prepare a rebuttal to Anderson ...

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/butina-spot-and-assess-exclude-testimony-denied

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