Maria Butina or Marina Butina is a Russian gun right's activist and libertarian. Butina headed an organization which aimed to secure a guaranteed constitutional right to keep and bear arms modeled on the U.S. Second Amendment to protect Russian citizens' after the 70 year enslavement of the Russian people by far left progressives of the Soviet Union. Butina became the target of anti-Second Amendment globalists, advocates of the war on sovereignty and the corrupt Obama intelligence community during Deep State coup plot.
U.S. intelligence had Butina on its radar by spring 2015, in part because she left an overt trail of open-source intelligence documenting her contacts with major conservative figures at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the National Rifle Association and the libertarian Freedom Fest, starting in 2013.
On June 8, 2015 Butina approached Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, at the Las Vegas Freedom Fest. Byrne, who held a security clearance as a member of the CFR, reported the contact with a Russian national to the FBI. By December 2015 Byrne was reporting more frequently on Butina.
In the early GOP primary season of 2016 Byrne was told by FBI handlers to focus Marina Butina's attention to the campaign of Donald Trump and to diminish any attention toward Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. Byrne warned FBI officials of a potential that his efforts, his reputation and those who trust him, may result in Butina gaining entry into the confidence of the campaign. The FBI agents told Byrne that was exactly the intent; people high up in the FBI wanted Ms. Butina to gain deep access into the 2016 Trump campaign. Butina was used by the FBI to “dirty-up” political targets, opening them up for surveillance. Byrne became suspicious of a corrupt political motive, but didn't say anything at the time.
By June and July 2016 FBI agents requested Byrne to focus on developing a closer romantic relationship with Maria Butina, and to use his influence to target her to closer proximity with the Trump family and Trump campaign. Byrne said the specific instructions were coming to the agents from Peter Strzok as he relayed the requests of those above him Byrne named James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bill Priestap, and John Carlin (DOJ-NSD).
On December 11, 2016 Glenn Simpson emailed Nellie Ohr of FusionGPS a link to an article in the left-wing ThinkProgress headlined, "Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia?" The article focused on Butina and Russian Alexander Torshin. Nellie Ohr responded, "Thank you!" to which Simpson, the next day, answered, "Please ring if you can." Nellie Ohr forwarded the Simpson message to her husband Asst Attn Gen. Bruce Ohr, saying, "I assume Glenn means you not me."
Despite the government's efforts to paint Butina as a Russian spy attempting to infiltrate Republican circles she was never investigated by the Mueller Team. Further, the FBI did nothing to stop Butina from meeting with high level Republican and conservative figures. The FBI didn't warn those conservative figures she had made contact with, even though the FBI had Butina under surveillance. Unlike an associate of Russian operative Anna Chapman who mad contact with a major Democratic party donor close to Hillary Clinton, the FBI acted swiftly to make arrest.
In 2018, Butina pleaded guilty to a FARA Act violation. Prosecutors had to walk back accusations they made during the trial that she was a Russian spy using sex as a tool to gain influence and access. The guilty plea was not an admission that Butina was a Russian spy or involved in espionage but a failure to register as a Russian citizen working on behalf of her country.
Butina was sentenced to Florida's FCI Tallahassee minimum security prison until Oct. 25, 2019. She was released from prison on Oct. 25, 2019 and boarded a plane heading to Russia. Butina explained why she accepted a plea deal:
Butina: I saw with my own eyes that there is no justice in the US.
Questioner:You signed a plea deal. We were watching the case very closely, just like all of Russia. Some lawyers said the prosecutors might not have enough evidence to prove your guilt. Why then take a plea bargain?Butina: Imagine you are in a foreign country, away from your parents… you have no contact with your family. You are locked up in solitary confinement. It’s very cold and you sit on the floor. You might be facing a 15-year sentence. I thought about how old I was going to be and whether my parents were going to be alive when that day came. And then you find out, that according to statistics, in the US about 98% of defendants who face a jury get convicted. So the chance of you losing is, well, quite high. Besides, who would have been judging me? I would have faced a jury in Washington – the people who watch CNN, the people who have already been fed this narrative, and with those people, it wouldn’t have mattered what I was being accused of. I would have been on trial for being Russian. I would have been sentenced to 15 years. So I believe I made the only right decision. There was no other way.
- Maria Butina explains why she agreed to a plea deal despite her innocence, October 27, 2019.