Russiagate / NRA Open Thread: The Red Sparrow Gun Pin-Up Pleads

More posts to follow; “status conference set for Feb. 12”. Nice comprehensive article at Buzzfeed:

A federal grand jury indicted Butina in mid-July on two counts: acting as an agent of a foreign government without alerting the US government, and conspiring to do so. Prosecutors claimed Butina received guidance from a Russian official who tasked her with influencing US foreign policy toward the country; her lawyers from the start denied she was acting as an agent, saying she was just a graduate student. The first charge carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, while the conspiracy charge had a maximum sentence of five years.

Prosecutors agreed to drop the more serious count when she’s sentenced. The lawyers estimated that she faced a sentencing range of between zero to six months. As part of the deal, prosecutors could ask the judge for a low sentence, or even no prison time, if they’re satisfied with her cooperation. Assistant US Attorney Erik Kenerson did not offer any details about what sort of information they wanted from Butina. Butina acknowledged that as a Russian national, she could face deportation once she finishes serving any prison time she may face…

(Another reason why Santorum won’t be Trump’s next Chief of Staff.)

174 replies
  1. 1
    A Ghost To Most says:

    According to the plea deal, Maria Butina’s cooperation with the US government includes “participating in covert law enforcement activities.”

    I assume this means she wore a wire at some point?

  2. 2
    geg6 says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Oh man. That would be delicious.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Butina acknowledged that as a Russian national, she could face deportation once she finishes serving any prison time she may face…

    So…. She either sings like a soprano and gets to stay here, or lie lie lies and gets deported after a long incarceration. Because if she sings AND gets deported….

  4. 4

  5. 5
    lamh36 says:

    Follow Follow @Grace_Segers
    .@MajorCBS confirms: Jared Kushner is under consideration for White House chief of staff.

    4:10 PM – 13 Dec 2018

  6. 6

    There has been speculation that Putina can safely go back to Russia because she is doing Putin’s will in exposing this to bring more chaos and distrust to the American scene. I’m not totally convinced that she would be safe in Russia even if that were the case.

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: But Putin doesn’t know her, and he asked around, and nobody knows who she is.

  8. 8

    @Gin & Tonic: So no problem then, I guess. 🤷‍♀️

  9. 9
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: yeah, and she’s not even that attractive. 6/10 in the right light.

  10. 10
    Xboxershorts says:

    Look at them Yo Yo’s

    That’s the way you do it

    Get yer money from Russia

    and yer chicks to pee

  11. 11
    Brachiator says:

    Maria Butina is really rocking that pearl necklace in a couple of those photos with conservative meatheads.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    “Her long time boyfriend” is John Wayne Bobbitt? Is this for real?

  13. 13
    karen marie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I don’t care whether she’s safe or not. She chose to do this. I haven’t heard otherwise.


    Paul Erickson, [Butina’s “boyfriend”], an ambitious conservative political operative from South Dakota who once did public relations for John Wayne Bobbitt

  14. 14
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I guess not. But I’m not going to write a life insurance policy on her either.

  15. 15
    lamh36 says:

    I got an A in my class!! Forgot to mention that I also got an A on my term paper. I had a solid B going into the final Quiz to take for the class this past Tuesday.

    I needed 13 points to get an A…I got 23!!!!

  16. 16
    debbie says:


    Congratulations! Can you celebrate yet?

  17. 17
    Chip Daniels says:

    I (almost) feel sorry for her.
    She will forever be an inconvenient woman, no longer useful, and so long as she breathes, a loose end that presents a clear and present danger to very nasty and powerful people.

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:

    OT: How do you make The Wall ™ an even greater ridiculous and pointless waste of time, money, and effort? Crowdsource-fund it using a special bitcoin-like thing!:

    During an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition on December 12, Rep. Warren Davidson said that he had offered what he referred to as a “modest proposal” in the form of his “Buy a Brick, Build a Wall Act.” The bill, which he submitted on November 30, would authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to accept monetary gifts from anyone “on the condition that it be used to plan, design, construct, or maintain a barrier along the international border between the United States and Mexico.” The funds would go into an account called the “Border Wall Trust Fund,” and a public website would be set up to process donations electronically.

    Rep. Davidson told NPR’s Steve Inskeep that the donations could come from anyone and be gathered in a number of ways.”You could do it with this sort of, like, crowdfunding site,” Davidson explained. “Or you could do it with blockchain—you could have Wall Coins.”

    You will be unsurprised to learn that Rep. Davidson is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Also, bonus points for apparently unironically proposing to solve hunger by serving up surplus Irish babies.

  19. 19
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @debbie: Paul Erickson, Butina’s latest mark, was at some point a lawyer or mouthpiece for Bobbitt.

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @A Ghost To Most: A safe assumption. Right now her beau is shitting his pants and looking for a .38 to suck on.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) Tweeted:
    BREAKING: A source confirms to @NBCNews Trump was “in the room” when Michael Cohen and National Enquirer publisher, David Pecker, discussed hush money payments:

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    You can’t be that naive.
    Her handler has disappeared.
    If she isn’t smart enough to ask for Witness Protection…oh well 😒😒

  24. 24
    JaySinWA says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I thought Erickson was just a gateway mark to reel in bigger fish, hardly the last mark, just a link in the chain. (to mangle the metaphor)

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    RICO, Baby!!!
    R-I-C-O 🤗🤗🤗

  26. 26
    stinger says:

    @lamh36: Woo-hoo! Way to go, you!

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    @rikyrah: Oh, c’mon! He’s just enjoying a sudden retirement stint. Far, far away from the spotlight.

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JaySinWA: I said “latest” as in most recent, nothing else.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Butina is like a Two-Face from a Seinfeld episode. However, if you’re an older, somewhat portly GOP gentleman, having her stick her hand down your pants probably erased all her sins.

  30. 30
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Hardly a red sparrow. More like a red starling.

    Why yes, I do think J. Lawrence is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.

  31. 31
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    1. That’s not my mistress.
    2. I never paid off my mistress.
    3. I don’t even have a mistress.

    (Recycled lawyer joke)

  32. 32
    C. Isaac says:


    Any other president, any other generation in American history, would have already resigned with the hopes that’d be enough to not prosecute.

    But nope, this is going to get ugly because the narcissist can’t handle a “lose”.

  33. 33

    @rikyrah: Not naive, just having some fun. I can’t imagine why people get themselves into stuff like this. It never ends well.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Let’s hope he takes his brother* Erick Erickson with him when he freaks out.

    *Not meant to be a factual statement

  35. 35
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: exactly

    @A Ghost To Most: but she’s not. She has a lot of sex appeal, but isn’t necessarily “beautiful”.

    I’m not a pig so I won’t say “nice rack!”.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    Renato Mariotti, who is a former prosecutor and CNN legal analyst, has some coverage of this on Twitter. She really seems to have told A LOT to prosecutors:

  37. 37
    dmsilev says:

    @rikyrah: Trump’s former co-conspirators are flipping on him. First Cohen, now the National Enquirer guy.

    The people who predicted when Mueller first started that this would play out like any other organized crime investigation were right.

  38. 38
    JaySinWA says:

    @rikyrah: You are making Popehat sad.
    That said he’s hedging abit on “It’s never RICO”
    but only about a specific case and set of facts.

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Thanks. I skimmed right over Erikson: “What is that asshole Erik saying now?”

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    The thing is… I understand her motivation. It is clear as day. But, she better get some sense and ask for Witness Protection.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:


    Whoo-hoo! Nice work! 🤗

  42. 42
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Different strokes. She has a figure? I’m captivated by her face, like a young Elizabeth Taylor.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    As someone on Twitter was saying the other day when the plea deal was announced, pudgy balding white guys in their 50s have got to stop fooling themselves about why hot women in their 20s are suddenly coming on to them. It ain’t because of their magnetic animal attractiveness.

  44. 44
    JaySinWA says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I thought she had at least semi-dumped him to move on other targets.

  45. 45
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @A Ghost To Most: As Adam and I exchanged in e-mail, it’s like the Anna Chapman mold didn’t work right on the second run.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @dmsilev: Until the popular drumbeat becomes, “A sitting president can in fact be indicted” then we’re still spinning our oars.

  47. 47
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thank you for that link. Illuminating reading.

  48. 48
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @A Ghost To Most: she does have a figure, and also a personality, both of which are great.

    Liz Taylor, meanwhile, was married to a fraternity brother of mine. Well, he graduated a century before I did, but we had a picture of them visiting the house on alumni weekend.

    If there were still John Warners in the Republican Party, they probably wouldn’t be treasonous Russian puppets.

  49. 49
    lamh36 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I was wondering myself, if she fears for her safety at all? I mean they had her in solitary confinement? I assume it was more for her safety than for punishment? With Putin bascially claimging I don’t know her”, do the feds thinks that puts her in more danger? As I recall Putin doesn’t seem to like loose ends?

  50. 50
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne: indeed!

    On an unrelated note, the waitress was totally flirting with me at dinner tonight.

  51. 51
    Steve in the ATL says:


    pudgy balding white guys in their 50s

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

  52. 52
    Shana says:

    @lamh36: Fabulous! Congratulations!

  53. 53
    jl says:

    Rotting Orange Santa gonna get us a shutdown for Christmas? Yay!

    Republicans Seemingly Have No Plan To Avoid Shutdown

    Looks like Nancy and Chuck were right, Trump doesn’t even have the GOP votes to pass his nutso BS.
    But, on the bright side, there is somewhat less Trumpster/GOP sabotage during lame duck session than I anticipated. Partly because, as expected, Trump is a clueless ass. But what I didn’t expect was that the GOP lame duckers can’t be bothered to do any work. These selfless civil servants, working tirelessly for their constituents, the country and the Constitution, are like “Why should I bust my ass for you losers, I’m booking this joint. Later suckers, I am outta here.”

    Apparently, not even enough House GOPers in town to get much done. I didn’t anticipate that. The GOP should have left some big ticket items for their donors until the last couple of months to keep the bribes flowing. What ever happened to the serious dry drunk daddy party that could plan their work and work their plan?

  54. 54
    lamh36 says:


    Follow Follow @GStephanopoulos
    Just sat down with Michael Cohen for his first response to sentencing and President Trump. Watch tomorrow on @GMA

  55. 55
    PJ says:

    @Steve in the ATL: @Corner Stone: @A Ghost To Most: Some of y’all need to get your eyes checked. Appearances certainly aren’t everything when it comes to attraction, but Butina is, at best, a 4 in a major American city.

    ETA: Now I realize that some of you were talking about Jennifer Lawrence, when the comparison is more like Tracey Ullman.

  56. 56
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Yes, I am also taken by how incredibly normal she seems, unlike Taylor.
    Wealth and fame screw most people up.

    It took neither for me.

  57. 57
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @A Ghost To Most: @Steve in the ATL: Nope. Ghost to Most is dead on here.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:


    Lots of guys continue hanging onto their girlfriends even after being semi-dumped, so I don’t find that odd in the least. He was obviously buying any line she cared to try to sell him on, so her telling him something like I’m only sleeping with this guy so you and I can be together later once our plan succeeds seems pretty plausible.

  59. 59
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: She’s a high schooler just trying to make a few bucks working at Chili’s, give her a break.

  60. 60
    geg6 says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    I think she’s beautiful, too. I’m totally straight but I have a bit of a crush on her. She seems like she is fun, too.

  61. 61
    A Ghost To Most says:

    You misunderstand my contempt for starlings. Only grackles run lower on my list.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Of course she was, punkin. You’re probably her only plausible ticket out of rural Indiana. 😘

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @A Ghost To Most: For me it’s not just her face, it’s her whole attitude.Somebody somewhere told her if she wanted to make it in Hollywood, she needed to lose weight.

    “Fuck you,” was all she said.

  64. 64
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Corner Stone: Anything to get the Fuck out of Indiana.

  65. 65
    JaySinWA says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, I was only quibbling about him being the “latest”. He was one of the earliest and then became the goto guy for connections to more of her later hook-ups.

  66. 66
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Nailed it. She don’t care.

  67. 67
    Miss Bianca says:

    @lamh36: *facepalm*

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steve in the ATL: That happened to me just the other day in the grocery aisle.

    Yeah. Right. ;-)

  69. 69
    oatler. says:

    @geg6: If she plucked her eyebrows more she could pass for tweaker mugshot

  70. 70
    geg6 says:


    See? That’s what I mean. That face. That attitude! I want her to be my friend!

  71. 71

    @lamh36: I don’t see how she can ever feel safe again.

  72. 72
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Nothing sexier than a woman who says, “Fuck you.” in a way that says, “Touch me and I’ll rip your head off and shit down the hole.”

  73. 73
    Chris Johnson says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: That’s certainly my view. I think they’ve gone past the ‘using Trump etc. as direct or indirect agents’ stage. Things have unravelled to the point that more damage can be done by exposing the extent of the treason. The question becomes, how totally compromised is the Republican leadership (I’m sure they really really want to also implicate Dems, and of course anyone or anything they can get on the far left) and how much damage can be done by burning them?

    And yeah… she shouldn’t expect parades. But if she’s a spy she probably knew this was a possible outcome. Play it wrong, and you’re a dead spy.

    I’m really interested in which Republicans are suddenly mysteriously amenable to bipartisanship. I heard McConnell did something that wasn’t purely an attack on Dems. I’m wondering if behind the scenes he is scrambling to gain protection from the Dems in advance of the rep-ocalypse that he knows is coming.

    Both Democrats and Republicans are aligned on two things: protecting wealth and the stock market, and protecting the appearance of a representative government that functions as a democracy (for all that Republicans tear down the democratic aspects of this democracy). They want the norms and the discourse to remain unquestioned and they don’t want the mask ripped off: the sheer extent of treason is pretty shocking and if we knew everything, the BEST case scenario is having one-party rule and the effective collapse of our system, which depends on a tripartite adversarial relationship between powers. Now that’s fucked. The Republicans have controlled everything, even seized the judicial system (Dems went along with far too much of this IMO) and then been exposed as traitors. Now what?

  74. 74
    lamh36 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Totally agree with that…and I’d bet she also knows she’s gotta be safer in US than on the streets of Russia or in Europe somewhere?

  75. 75
    Haroldo says:


    Top flight! Congratulations.

  76. 76
    Jay C says:

    Red Sparrow?
    More like the Red Canary the way she seems to have been singing.

    And hopefully she’s been able to do some damage to the Nasty Russian Admirers along the way.

  77. 77
  78. 78
  79. 79
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: @Mnemosyne: @A Ghost To Most: sad to say I actually ate at Chili’s earlier this week in Battle Creek, Michigan, where it is the local equivalent of a Michelin-starred restaurant.

    I left Indiana this afternoon and in fact dined this evening at the Brown Dog Café in Blue Ash, Ohio. The food was quite good, as was the wine list, though I didn’t love the port.

    Do you guys not review the itineraries I send out?

  80. 80
    Mary G says:

    @lamh36: Even with all your globe-trotting and full time job, you aced the course! Fabulous badass jackal, like Subaru Diane!

  81. 81
    Haroldo says:


    Doubtless some congratulations are due @debbie, but I meant to reply to


    I got an A in my class!! Forgot to mention that I also got an A on my term paper. I had a solid B going into the final Quiz to take for the class this past Tuesday.

    Well done!

  82. 82
    Shana says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Didn’t Warner sign that 44 Former Senators letter from a few days ago?

  83. 83

    @Chris Johnson: There’s a lot we don’t know yet about the Republican situation. The NRA was a big player in their party and in supporting Trump to the tune of $30 million, and now they’re flat bust broke. Easy to draw the conclusion that the Russian money is gone now. McClatchy has been doing the best job of following the NRA money, so I would guess they’re looking into that.

    Then there’s those Republican emails that were hacked at the same time as the DNC, according to the January 2017 DNI report. We’ve never heard about them.

    As a number of us have been pointing out, things are going to speed up at some point, and I think we’re getting there. More people are flipping, including the National Enquirer folks who seem much more talky than some of the others. Pelosi and Schumer made it possible to laugh openly at Trump’s incompetence. The Senate voted today to cut off funding for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and passed an unbinding resolution that Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. It only gets worse for Trump from here.

  84. 84
    jl says:

    @Chris Johnson: I’ve read that Russian feelers were put out to Dems and lefties as well, some I think through Butina. But Dems and lefties were a little more clued into due diligence. Except I forgot about Jill Stein, but not sure how well her little tinpot political empire is attached to anything else.

    So, if any Dems and lefties are involved, I’ll be outraged if Dems do anything to protect them. Better to cut them loose.

    Bigger issue is if all the political rot is cleaned out, how would that affect corporate and big individual donor interests? I can imagine pressure from them to limit damage to current corrupt system, and corporate Dems might listen.

  85. 85
    Steeplejack says:


    Congratulations! You can doo eet!

  86. 86

    @lamh36: Probably safer here than other places, but we’ve had a few mysterious Russia-connected deaths.

  87. 87
    eemom says:

    Wasn’t there a John Wayne Bobbitt who became famous back in the early 90s because his wife chopped his manhood off? Surely this isn’t that John Wayne Bobbitt?

  88. 88
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @lamh36: nice work. I am concerned that you have proven to be too smart to post here. Have you checked out Lawyers, Guns, and Money? It has threaded comments!

  89. 89
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The NRA has claimed it’s broke when it was convenient for it to claim it was broke. Is it really true?

    Might be true if they really broke the bank for GOTV and political ads, hoping for some return after the election. But if the return was going to go through anything that involved Trump actually doing something, then they are nuts and messed up big time.

  90. 90
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I had to look up Anna Chapman, and then I figured out you were talking about Red Starling, not Red Sparrow.

  91. 91
    Shana says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Hubby’s been spending lots of time in Mason, OH and recommends S.W. Clybourne’s (spelling may be a bit off). They make a good Manhattan and the food’s good.

  92. 92

    @jl: Good point. I rely on McClatchy to tell me.

  93. 93
    japa21 says:

    @lamh36: What did you end up deciding on as the subject of the term paper?

  94. 94
    ruemara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: That seems to strike 40 year old, potato-bodied males as a complete shock. Monied or no. I can say this as a 40+ woman who is single.

    @Cheryl Rofer: I think this is an ok’ed action. But I hope she’s smart enough understand the term “loose end”. A lot of people don’t understand that usefulness has a sell by date.

  95. 95
    PJ says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: My recollection is that the victims have all been Russian or Ukrainian current or ex-employees/agents, into which category she also falls, so the US will be no safer for her if she disclosed things she shouldn’t have. But my guess is she personally knew very little on the Russian side and was mostly a conduit/key to manipulate right-wingers here, and she may get a promotion when she goes home.

  96. 96
    Tenar Arha says:

    @lamh36: 🎉 Congratulations!

  97. 97
    A Ghost To Most says:

    That’s it!

    /Charlie Brown Xmas special voice

  98. 98
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @jl: re the left, in addition to Stein there were occasional mentions of Bernie’s spouse. Less than Stein, mind, but there.

    And being fair I’m betting there are a few tainted Dems who will get expressed of for no other reason than a desperate addiction to bothsiderism.

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I just figured since all your previous romantic assignations occurred at Chili’s…

  100. 100
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Steve in the ATL: If it ain’t Colorado, it goes in the bit bucket (yes, I still use that dinosaur term).

  101. 101
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Shana: indeed he did! [gives secret fraternity handshake]

  102. 102
    Corner Stone says:


    Hubby’s been spending lots of time in Mason, OH and recommends S.W. Clybourne’s (spelling may be a bit off).

    What’s her name?

  103. 103
    jl says:

    @ruemara: ” I think this is an ok’ed action.”
    It is remarkable how very quickly and very neatly everything changed on a dime and business wrapped up after what everyone knew for months suddenly became official verified news.

  104. 104
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Have you checked out Lawyers, Guns, and Money? It has threaded comments!

    Yeah but then you have to read a bunch of comments where Davis X. Machina keeps heightening the contradictions.

  105. 105
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    It has threaded comments!

    The truly discerning all appreciate the value of non-threaded comments. I am not a crackpot.

  106. 106


    Surely this isn’t that John Wayne Bobbitt?

    Yeah, dickless.

  107. 107
    Corner Stone says:

    Yeah, George F Will is my go to guy for who the D’s should run in 2020.

  108. 108
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Corner Stone:

    a bunch of comments where Davis X. Machina keeps heightening the contradictions. killing the room with his dry wit.

    Surely FTFY?

  109. 109
    JaySinWA says:

    @jl: You are assuming the NRA had long term goals and objectives such as survival in mind. I expect they picked up the short term loot, pillage and burn mentality that infects a lot of our corporations these days. The Russians used them like a burner phone.

  110. 110
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Shana: thank you–menu looks good

  111. 111
    ruemara says:

    @jl: Funny, no? This operation wasn’t just to fuck the elections. It was to undermine faith in every instituttion of America. Her singing her throat out about all the men she bamboozled with her average face and low price available tits will continue that goal. She could have a nice hero’s welcome and die after a few good years by falling out a window in a shaving accident.

  112. 112
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    The truly discerning all appreciate the value of non-threaded comments. I am not a crackpot.

    Brown nosing the blogfather? Good move.

  113. 113
    Fair Economist says:


    Apparently, not even enough House GOPers in town to get much done.

    Like you, I’m really shocked at this. I fully expected the Republicans to push through something monstrous with reconciliation, but they seem to be doing pretty much nothing.

    As an aside, Flake low-key resistance to judicial nominees is irrelevant, because the Republicans will have a larger majority next year and they don’t need the House for confirmations. Flake obviously knows this too.

  114. 114
    jl says:

    @Kirk Spencer: IIRC, Bernie Sanders camp, Black Lives Matter, some of the leftier Move-On people, progressive black activists, quite a wide range of folks, were given at least a few feelers.. But, like I said, even if some among those would be tempted to just make trouble if funded to do so, they had enough common sense to perform some due diligence and at the very least decided legal problems weren’t worth it.

    And IIRC, also, a few of them properly reported the feelers to the FBI. I have wondered how important those tips were to later investigative success.

  115. 115
    jl says:

    @Fair Economist: Good point on Flake. I now take back the one-tenth hurrah I’ve been considering for him.

  116. 116
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @ruemara: Yep. Putin’s work is mostly done.

    American payback ain’t even started yet.

  117. 117
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Brown nosing the blogfather? Good move.

    Clearly spoken by someone who hasn’t had to fight Disqus’ “new comment” code and its perennial malfunctions.

  118. 118
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Chris Johnson: Why do people think that if the Republican Party collapses we’ll be a “one party state”? Any bunch of people can get together and decide to form a party, and then go out and get other people to vote for them. It’s really hard to do in a first-past-the-post system like ours, but if one of the majors implodes, there’s an opening for a replacement to emerge.
    That’s where the Republicans came from, as a matter of fact. The Whig party broke down, and the Republican party emerged to take its place.
    The Soviet Union didn’t become a one-party state because the other guys faltered at the polls, they forced their way into power and made other parties illegal. Does anybody really think that the Democrats are going to do that?

  119. 119
    sgrAstar says:

    @lamh36: you’re a BOSS! Congratulations.

  120. 120
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: better not be Mysti–she swore I’m the only pudgy balding 50-something man with a green Amex that she’s interested in!

  121. 121
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Kirk Spencer: If someone is still on the fence at this point, fuckem. They are unreachable. Even Ruth Marcus got off the fence..

    Eta sorry for the drag the other night.

  122. 122
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    Why do people think that if the Republican Party collapses we’ll be a “one party state”?

    If the GrOPers collapsed, it would follow as day follows night, that the Democratic Party would split in two, with the conservative wing taking the place of the GrOPers, though hopefully with less treason. Maybe even with less racism.

  123. 123
    JaySinWA says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Green card? Somehow I figured you for at least a gold card if not a black one.

  124. 124
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Chetan Murthy: JC hates threaded comments. It’s part of his charm. Discus sucks.

  125. 125
    piratedan says:

    @PJ: remembering that a vast majority of us dudes are really simple beings … look at it this way…. you’re a political power broker and as such you’re busy, meeting other movers and shakers in your various interest circles. You’re known in your circle but pretty damn obscure outside of it. Now comes along a modestly attractive younger woman who supposedly happens to share your interests…

    There are such things as daddy complexes and women who are attracted to older men, so its easy to lie to yourself and allow yourself to be strung along because you’ve never felt so young or been there taking the pulse of something exciting, especially unexpected at this time of your life….

    so is it plausible, hell yes its plausible, how many of us guys can be seduced by the right set of characteristics at the proper place and time and I’d say whoever did the scouting on this Op sure picked their targets well… I’m just unsure if Ms. Butina is aware of which way the wind is blowing, is she in Carthage mode and leaving behind a scorched earth tell all allowing us to see the inherent corruption of the GOP which will lead to their likely downfall as a political entity to be welcomed home as a hero with Mission Accomplished banners? or is she actually scared of going home and is dependent upon the one honest soldier left in the game in Bobby Three Sticks? My guess is that she should have left months ago and is either still operating on instructions from home or realizing that her handlers are great at some aspects of the job but she now knows that she’s nothing more than a pawn that has outlived any usefulness….

    this comes back to the what happens afterwards, when we have to clean up after this mess and how to begin to repair the damage since we have some many compromises in place both in our government and infrastructure….

  126. 126
  127. 127
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    : Her singing her throat out about all the men she bamboozled with her average face and low price available tits will continue that goal

    I wish people will make up their minds about her, Butina can’t be both to good for them AND to common and easy at the very same time. But one would think considering the long history of Russians and their honey traps that only a complete idiot would fall for one.

  128. 128

    This whole thread is worth reading.

  129. 129
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @JaySinWA: I was trying to describe a stereotype, riffing on Mnem’s comment about the chumps falling for Russian spy chick’s advances

  130. 130
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    Why do people think that if the Republican Party collapses we’ll be a “one party state”?

    They say California is the future and the Cal GOP has imploded and been out of power for almost 20 years now and doesn’t seem to mind and have made no effort to be more acceptable to the voters of California. It boggles my mind that anyone of with any serious ambition would join a party with no future like that, but they do. The only thing I can think of it’s about holding office in a safe Red districts, grandstanding symbolic gestures for the base in the assembly and while raking in that sweet wealthy wingnut doner money that keeps them going and they are large enough to shut out any new conservative party from forming.

  131. 131
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Looked up Chapman on internet. Saw she was in NYC, involved in property. Arrested as part ofmRussian spy ring in 2010. Considered quite a looker.

    Is there any chance she had contact with Trump? He was already involved wuth Putin. So did she help ‘handle’ him?

  132. 132
    patrick II says:


    He’s not dickless, he had it re-attached and even made a porn movie to prove it still works.

  133. 133
    patrick II says:


    Congratulations. I assume this makes you a pretty young person. I am surprised (although you can never tell on the internet), you have made some insightful comments I would not have guessed came from one so young.. Nice work.

  134. 134
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Clearly I need to! I’d have crashed your dinner as it’s maybe 10 minutes away and the food is pretty good there.

    @lamh36 Way to go@ I’m not the least bit surprised.

  135. 135
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Chris Johnson: Dems in minority in Senate!! Had/have zero power to oppose judicial appointments!! See what happened re Kavanaugh!!

  136. 136
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Clearly I need to! I’d have crashed your dinner as it’s maybe 10 minutes away and the food is pretty good there.

    @lamh36 Way to go; I’m not the least bit surprised.

  137. 137
    J R in WV says:


    Congratulations!! It isn’t easy to make an A in grad school while working, at all. So hard work and native smarts at work also too. Keep up the good work!!

    Jackals support higher ed!!

  138. 138
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @jl: Read somewhere they have massive amounts of$$ in reserve. That they’re just down their usual annual income. So not actually broke.

  139. 139
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: did not know you were so close–will try to connect when I’m back and not punch drunk from driving around corn fields all week!

  140. 140
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    6/10 in the right light.

    “You’ll soon get used to her looks,” said he,
    “And a very nice girl you’ll find her!
    She may very well pass for forty-three
    In the dusk, with the light behind her!”

  141. 141
    J R in WV says:


    Sounds like you really crushed it, so more congrats, even.

  142. 142
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    YAAAAYY!! Awesome job, Lamh! Congratulations!

  143. 143
    Ken says:

    @Corner Stone:

    George F Will is my go to guy for who the D’s should run in 2020.

    Run where? And will hounds be used?

  144. 144
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: ” but that would be weird for a spy. ”

    I’d be interested to hear from IC professionals on this. I’ve read some (sorry a while ago and I have no links handy) that she was technically, and moreover very much practically, not a spy. She was an ‘operative’. There was no cover. Her Russian connections were pretty out in the open, and anyone with sufficient brain cells and any experience in politics could easily understand her Russian connections, including money connections that would make that $ source very iffy to get mixed up in any way with domestic US politics.

    Which is why several of the feelers to lefty organizations got due diligenced and reported to the FBI.

  145. 145
    jl says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Still a number of competent moderate GOPers at local level in CA. The CA way of doing a lot of hum-drum daily functions delegates a lot of responsibility to county and city level. So, local governments need to be competent. But until the crazies are purged from state level party power, and crazies purged from GOP primary voting base, they can’t advance. I think the crazy GOP primary voting block is the big problem, even with CA jungle primary, because the mere GOP label is kiss of death with Dem and Independent CA voters. So, the local GOP moderates need some help from their own party in primaries, but I’ll be damned if I can see how they will get that with their current crowd of primary voter nutcases.

  146. 146
    sukabi says:

    @Steve in the ATL: that’s her “fresh faced” mug shot. It’s amazing what a wheelbarrow full of makeup and a trowel can do.

  147. 147
    lamh36 says:


    Impact of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) of 2014 on Clinical Laboratory Fee Reimbursement Schedule

  148. 148
    Platonailedit says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: So that dickless pos became evolved into a rethug operative?

  149. 149
    J R in WV says:

    Regarding our Russian Red Canary, she is a woman who greatly benefits from judicious use of small amounts of makeup, unlike many women who overdo it and look like “Face by duPont” plastic dolls.

    Without the benefit of makeup and pearls, she isn’t so much. But she did the most with what she had to work with… and it was enough, evidently. A warm and out going personality, or the ability to fake that, worked well too, obviously.

  150. 150
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Scamp Dog: Scamp Dog! Completely off-topic, how is Mika?

  151. 151
    Platonailedit says:

    The NRA gave more money to Missouri Senator-elect Josh Hawley than to any other candidate. Hawley is already being investigated for dark money and illegal activity; the Butina case is an impetus to trace NRA money and expose the full extent of corruption— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) December 13, 2018

  152. 152
    Platonailedit says:

    As the denials pile up after the Butina plea deal, remember that there are no political freelancers in Putin's Russia. No one can risk it. They aren't all reporting directly, but they serve one master in the end.— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) December 13, 2018

  153. 153
    Honus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: there still is a john Warner in the Republican Party. John is alive and well and endorsed Tim Kaine this year.

  154. 154
    Miss Bianca says:

    @lamh36: YOW. Even reading the title taxed my brain! You rock, lamh! Congratulations!

  155. 155
    ruemara says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: honey, I’m a woman. She’s average at her best. IDK who says she was too good for them besides the fact that she’s in her 20’s. And since I know men that age & older, I can also say for them, that is a huge part of what raises a woman to hot. It’s a trophy thing

  156. 156
    lamh36 says:

    @patrick II: I’m 42…

  157. 157
    lamh36 says:

    @lamh36: I decided to stick to what I know…the Clinical Lab…whenever I can.

    FP Adam S, was really helpful with proofreading and such…so thx Adam!

  158. 158
    jl says:

    @jl: Which might explain one of the NRA’s nondenial denials regarding the Butina/Torshin $ channel, which was bascially: ‘Well, sure, they were exactly who they said they were, Russians backing our causes with shitloads of Russian dough to spread around, so that is why we took their money and used cheap accounting tricks to try to pretend we didn’t use it on US elections. ‘

    The NRA didn’t say that in so many words, but basically, that was one of their responses to the charges they used Russian money in US elections.

  159. 159
    patrick II says:

    No wonder writing voice is so refined. Going back to college? Or advanced degree. Either way, nice work.

  160. 160
    Kathleen says:

    @Steve in the ATL: How long are you in Cincinnati?
    ETA I’ve never eaten there but I heard it’s good. Also, too, there’s supposed to be a really good ice cream shop in that complex.

  161. 161
    Ruckus says:

    You are over 40? You don’t look it.

    Good for you! Keep it up and enjoy the glow of hard work paying off.

  162. 162
  163. 163
    Kathleen says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I’m not too far either.

  164. 164
    Kathleen says:

    @lamh36: Congratulations!!!

  165. 165
    Ruckus says:

    If he was up to black card his lawyer duties most likely wouldn’t take him to out of the way places to discuss unions goings on and to spend more time on airplanes than he does in GA.

  166. 166
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Kathleen: leaving tomorrow; short visit. Will try for a meetup when I’m here for longer. We could all go ice skating next to the restaurant and ice cream parlor!

  167. 167
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Ruckus: I’m a liberal; I don’t see color, whether it’s skin or credit card….

  168. 168
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Doesn’t seem like she’s a spy in the “traditional” sense.
    Aren’t most spies either setting up information collecting systems, actually collecting information or trying to flip certain people, to get information?
    If that’s true then this may be spying but it’s a completely different type of spying. And it’s wasn’t covert opps, nor is it like she’s a US citizen working for the ruskies.
    OTOH it strikes me funny that individual 1, and the republican party, screams about the threat of immigrants and here they are up to his fake hair in people from other countries coming here to destroy the country he supposedly works for, as it seems like a bit of loose pocket change was spent by MB’s boss to get to where we are today, what with the republican party seemingly being in massive debt to MB’s boss for getting individual 1 elected. Was this their one great white hope, their last hurrah before the sun sets on them?

  169. 169
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’m reminded of what Voltaire said, explaning to a friend about why the British tried and executed Admiral Byng after a defeat. “It’s to encourage the other admirals.”

    It doesn’t matter whether she’s followed her instructions to the letter, even in taking the plea deal. She’s failed to be useful any longer so she can be dispensed with; those who want to live should continue to be useful.

  170. 170
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @lamh36: 🎉🎉🎉🎉

  171. 171
    Ruckus says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Good. You didn’t fail the trick post concept.
    I’ll try harder. Some day.

  172. 172
    Ruckus says:

    @a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio):
    Think bigger picture from Vlad’s point of view. We don’t know his goal here, there have been several concepts thrown out by several of us, all of which could be completely wrong. And unless you know his goal and intentions none of us can say if she’s of no use, to Vlad. He didn’t send her in under cover so he had to either risk the chance of her getting caught, he figured that her getting caught would work out better for him in the long run, or her getting caught was actually part of the plan in the first place. Which means there is probably a lot more going on under cover and he wanted a diversion, which she is part of and is doing her bit for that. IOW she might just be doing exactly what he expected and there for is not in any danger from Vlad. She serves her time and goes back home with negative side. OTOH, she could be dead before she can attempt to step off the plane.

  173. 173
    Kathleen says:

    @Steve in the ATL: That would be great!

  174. 174
    JGabriel says:


    Right now her beau is shitting his pants and looking for a .38 to suck on.

    Erickson and Butina were working for the gun lobby – or, more accurately, working the gun lobby for Russia. Either way, one wouldn’t think he’d have to look far to find a gun. It’s more likely that Erickson is shitting his pants and wondering when the guns are gonna come looking for him.

    After all, in post-Soviet Russia, you don’t shoot gun. Gun shoot you.

Comments are closed.