In case you haven’t heard, Mariia Butina was arrested and charged as acting as a foreign agent by the DOJ.
The media is now exploding with this story and is going to use it to try and take out Trump, the NRA, and gun owners in general.
The first thing you need to understand is just how dishonest the media coverage is on this.
The Justice Department on Monday charged a Russian national, Mariia Butina, also known as Maria, with conspiring against the US as a secret agent.
Holy fuck, she’s a spy. This is deep infiltration of our goverment. This is a Jack Ryan novel level intrigue.
The case against a Russian agent infiltrating the Republican Party may be larger than just the one arrest.
The entire GOP has been compromised. One of the two major American political parties is now in the pocket of the Russian government.
DOJ Charges Russian National Mariia Butina With Acting As Foreign Agent
Butina is heavily involved in the gun rights movement and is a “life member” of the NRA.
Oh shit, she’s an NRA member and a Russian citizen. This is the NRA/Trump/Russia collusion right here.
Well actually, she was arrested for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). According to the DOJ:
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was enacted in 1938. FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. Disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents. The FARA Registration Unit of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act.
Oh, so she’s a lobbyist on behalf of Russian interests who failed to file paperwork with the DOJ to show that her lobbying was conducted on behalf of a foreign interest.
That’s a big difference than being a spy.
It seems that it was no secret that she was a lobbyist either.
Again, from CNN:
One of the Americans she worked with said one month before the 2016 presidential election they were working on a “VERY” private line of communication between the Kremlin and one political party through a gun rights organization, believed to be the National Rifle Association, according to court documents. Butina was involved with a Russian gun group that the National Rifle Association was supportive of and has met several Republican politicians, as evidenced in photos she took with them.
So this woman was with a Russian gun rights group. How terrible that she was trying to improve gun rights in her home country.
The is an article in The New Republic from 2012 (yes, Obama’s reelection year) that covers Mariia (Maria) Butina and her relationship with the NRA.
About a year ago, Butina founded an organization called Right to Bear Arms, in the process almost single-handedly inventing Russia’s gun-rights movement. The guys at the shooting gallery were her dues-paying members, all of whom believe the legal code should be amended to allow Russians to carry concealed handguns.
This is not a popular idea in Russia, where there is no constitutional right to bear arms, in a well-regulated militia or otherwise. Instead, Russians are allowed to own smoothbore hunting rifles, as well as “compliance weapons”—that is, guns that shoot rubber bullets or are powered by gas.
Although she is a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Butina’s vision of gun rights has little to do with the “rights” part of it; the American insistence that a gun is a vessel of liberty seems alien to her. Nor does she see any connection between her movement and the anti-Kremlin protests that gripped Moscow last winter and spring, though hers is one of a new crop of civic groups that have sprung up in the ferment. Her organization, currently 400 members strong, is a soup of communists and nationalists, while Butina herself votes for Vladimir Putin and his United Russia Party. But in Russia, the fledgling pro-gun movement is less a political cause than it is a self-help strategy.
Butina decamped to Moscow when she was 22. At the time, most Russian gun-related organizations were for sports shooters, and so Butina decided to recruit people who congregated in Web forums to discuss gun rights. At first, they focused on regulations that made target practice prohibitively expensive. But before long, Butina realized that the idea of self-defense was a far more potent recruiting tool.
This summer, the group successfully defended a woman named Tatyana Kudryavtseva who fought off a rapist with a knife and accidentally killed him. She faced 15 years in jail for homicide; Right to Bear Arms got her exonerated. “If she had had a gun, it would have been enough just to show the gun, as American statistics show,” says Butina, who is a fan of statistics in general and American statistics in particular.
Along the way, she gained a powerful ally in Alexander Torshin, a high-ranking member of United Russia and the first deputy speaker of the Russian senate. Torshin is also a member of the NRA, which he told me he admires because it stands for “stability”—the credo of Putin’s reign.
So a young woman from Siberia, where there exists a gun culture of self reliance, wants to get Russia to be a little less restrictive on gun control and allow concealed carry for Russians can protect themselves from crime.
During her activism, she began working with the NRA as a kindred spirit for gun rights.
I guess the Russians knew that Trump was going to run for president four years later that they started playing this long ball game back in 2011.
But why let facts and logic get in the way of slander an mockery?
Here is a Russian spy with a Russian asset pic.twitter.com/1uR4tRDNCF
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) July 17, 2018
Oh really? She turned him? He’s a spy now too?
Or maybe the leaders of two gun rights organizations had a meeting.
Think Progress covered this back in 2016.
Butina told ThinkProgress in an email that there are no financial connections between the American and Russian groups. “The Right to Bear Arms and your American NRA are completely separate organizations. We have no political or financial ties of any kind,” she wrote, adding that they are “literally ‘comrades in arms’ in a shared belief that a right to own a firearm makes people safer.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint you,” she wrote, “but there is no international conspiracy at work surrounding the organization I founded, ‘The Right to Bear Arms.’” She added that her group’s payments for Sheriff Clarke’s visit and others in the NRA delegation were “something any decent host would do when friends visit,” but did not respond to questions about whether other American politicians had also been brought to Moscow at the group’s expense.
Today is the beginning of the end for the NRA #NRAgate
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) July 17, 2018
I somehow doubt that.
This is their wishful thinking at its worst. This isn’t TDS but something close. The idea that because Trump/Russia, anything that gets close to Russia is somehow compromised.
In their minds, because of this woman, the entire NRA is just a Russian organization out to destroy America. All six plus million US NRA members are in a state of quantum flux where we either don’t exist or are Russian stooges ourselves.
If the NRA is therefore illegitimate because is it a Russian tool, than gun rights is illegitimate and sweeping gun control can be passed because Russia.
Don’t believe me?
Just look how the media is covering this:
They are trying to take out Trump and the NRA at the same time with one known lobbyist.
They are going to twist this thing into a call to destroy every NRA member in the country and gun rights as a whole because… Russia.
This is now the fight for our lives.