Hiding In Plain Sight: Potential Ties Between President Trump, Russian Spy Maria Butina, And The NRA

President Trump and his inner circle should be concerned with today’s news that Maria Butina, an alleged Russian spy, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with federal prosecutors. Butina is admitting to conspiring with an American accomplice to undermine U.S. elections at the direction of a Kremlin-linked official.

While separate for now from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation that has resulted in eight guilty pleas including President Trump’s campaign chairman, longtime lawyer, National Security Advisor, deputy campaign manager, and foreign policy aide, Butina is in a position to expose how the Kremlin, the NRA and President Trump’s campaign might have illegally coordinated in the campaign.

Hiding in plain sight are potential ties between Butina, President Trump, and the NRA:

  • Butina’s relationship with the NRA is well-documented in federal documents. Butina organized a NRA trip to Moscow and set up a meeting between senior NRA officials including NRA Board of Directors member David Keene and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The NRA has acknowledged it received Russian money during the 2016 election cycle that helped fund its record $54 million effort to support President Trump and Congressional Republicans.

  • The NRA and its allegedly illegal coordination with the Trump campaign: Reports show the NRA and Trump campaign employed the exact same people to devise and execute their media strategies. According to a former FEC chair, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where illegal coordination seems more obvious.”
  • Butina and President Trump: Butina bragged that she was “part of the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia.” In July 2015, Butina was at a Trump rally and asked him a question about ending U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Was the NRA operating as a pass-through from alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and President Trump’s campaign in 2016?At least 16 membersof the Trump campaign were in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign or transition. Is Butina the latest addition to a long list of Russian operatives and spies who infiltrated the Trump campaign?