The most important development in yesterday’s news cycle was the announcement that indicted Russian spy Maria Butina has agreed to cooperate fully with the Mueller probe. It’s highly unusual for a Russian spy and indicted criminal to become a Federal songbird because they can never go back to Russia even though they’ve acted as an enemy to our nation. But now that she is cooperating, her involvement with Trump and the NRA has a lot of conservatives quaking in their shoes.
Betsy Woodruff in the Daily Beast has the scoop on Butina:
Butina had once hobnobbed with the stars of the Republican firmament, getting pictures of herself with Gov. Scott Walker, Donald Trump Jr., NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, former Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and former NRA president David Keene. On July 11, 2015, Butina was in Las Vegas at an early rally for Trump’s embryonic presidential campaign, and asked the future president a question about Russian sanctions. Trump gave a surprisingly detailed answer. A year and a half later, she attended the invitation-only Freedom Ball after Trump’s inauguration.
As the Butina deal was hitting the news, a group of 40 former senators wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post to current senators reminding them (shaming them) of the importance of guarding our democracy from threats as the Mueller probe gets closer to a conclusion. Though not named, Speaker Mitch McConnell was surely the main target of the letter, as McConnell has shamefully gone out of his way to protect Trump and prevent a Mueller protection bill from getting a vote. Here is the op-ed:
The more shame, ridicule and pressure we can direct toward McConnell the more likely he will be to question his allegiance to the sinking Trumptanic as more criminal allegations surface. If they do, there will come a point when McConnell sees the cost of sticking with Trump as higher than supporting him. The more we can do to hasten that moment, the better for our nation.