All the facts of Butina’s crimes haven’t been released to the public but we do know she was given the job of coming to the U.S. and establishing contacts and relationships with powerful executives of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Through her NRA contacts she was then able to meet and get to know intimately some of the NRA’s top employees: Republican politicians, including prominent members of Congress as well as governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
Yesterday the Washington Post reported that now Russian spy Butina was also connected closely with the Donald Trump presidential campaign and transition team in 2016.
Butina was connected to the Trump campaign and transition through her relationship with J.D. Gordon, who was the Trump campaign’s director of national security. Gordon left the campaign officially in August of 2016 and then in November was given a significant role on president-elect Trump’s transition team.
Coincidentally, Gordon left the campaign around the same time as Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort, for reasons that were never fully explained.
Prosecutors said in their charging documents that Butina infiltrated the U.S. political system at the direction of a senior Russian intelligence officer, and was in fact a highly trained Russian intelligence agent herself. Part of her training was to use seduction as a tool to gain espionage secrets and influence the behavior of her targets.
U.S. intelligence officials have said that her espionage activities against the U.S. occurred at the same time that Putin’s government took many other steps to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump win.
During the campaign, Butina met candidate Trump at a public event in 2015 and talked to him about his views on Russia. In May of 2016 Butina met with Donald Trump Jr. when both were in attendance at a national NRA meeting.
It is well documented that during the Republican National Convention, top members of Trump’s campaign team met in secret with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and that the party platform was changed to favor Russia, at Kislyak’s request.
J.D. Gordon was one of the Trump campaign officials who met with Kislyak during the convention. Shortly after that Gordon and Butina began socializing with each other, and Gordon temporarily left Trump’s team.
What’s fascinating is that Butina herself is the source of this shocking new revelation that directly connects her espionage activities to the Trump campaign and transition.
According to the Post, they got the information for their story directly from Butina’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which took place in April. This testimony didn’t become known to the public until the time of her arrest a few weeks ago.
Because Butina has confessed that she was closely connected to Donald Trump’s campaign and transition, she may be able to answer such questions as:
- Why did Gordon meet with the Russian Ambassador during the convention?
- Why did Gordon really leave the campaign?
- Why did Trump bring him back after the election to join the transition?
- What was Butina’s espionage goal in her relationship with Gordon?
- Was Butina “friendly” with other Trump advisers also?
Apparently there is a lot of information that Butina told the Senate Intelligence Committee that has not been made public. We know that Mueller has all of this information, and has connected all the dots between Russia and the Trump campaign, transition, and administration.
When the full story of Butina is finally told it will reveal many secrets that Donald Trump wants to keep hidden — secrets about how his campaign was infiltrated by Russia spies.