Remember Maria Butina? She’s the Russian agent who funneled Russian money to the National Rifle Association (NRA), millions of which wound up helping get Donald Trump and many Congressional Republicans elected in 2016.
Butina was arrested by the FBI in July and charged with conspiracy and failing to register as an agent of a foreign government. She’s currently jailed in Alexandria, Virginia, but she’s finally decided that she’s ready to cooperate fully with federal authorities, which could be very bad news for the president, the Republican Party, and the NRA.
According to a report from CNN, Butina and her attorneys have reached a plea deal with the Justice Department:
“(Butina’s) attorneys and prosecutors filed a two-page request on Monday for a ‘change of plea’ hearing before a federal judge as soon as Tuesday. ‘The parties have resolved this matter,’ the filing in DC federal court said Monday morning. Butina’s case was brought by federal prosecutors in DC and not by Robert Mueller’s team in the special counsel’s office.
“(She) has begun cooperating with federal prosecutors after agreeing to a plea deal in recent days, according to a source familiar with the matter.
While Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s name isn’t on the plea agreement filed in court, rest assured he will be kept apprised of any and all information Butina provides to the U.S. Attorneys’ office in the District of Columbia.
What exactly can Butina assist federal investigators with? Well, there’s the laundering of Russian money through NRA bank accounts, a charge which could wind destroying the pro-gun organization. She’ll probably be asked what members of the GOP — including members of Congress — she met with or helped steer campaign contributions to, which would then leave those Republicans open to charges of accepting illegal campaign funds and fraud.
But perhaps the biggest threat Butina presents is to Trump, because it paints a picture for Mueller that allows him to draw yet another connection between Russia and the president. And the more connections there are, the larger the conspiracy, which translates into a higher probability that Trump will be impeached, indicted, and removed from office.
There’s an old saying that applies when it comes to Maria Butina and the GOP: You are the company you keep. And Donald Trump keeps some of the most corrupt and disgusting company in the world.