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Russia Probe Twist: A Billion Dollar CEO, A Convicted Russian Agent And The FBI
If what you already know about the FBI’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia has you wondering what can come next, “make sure you are sitting down because it’s about to get worse,” said Patrick Byrne, the philanthropist and CEO of the mega online retail chain Overstock.com.
Byrne revealed never published details about his intimate relationship with the Russian gun right’s activist and libertarian, Maria Butina, who is now serving out her sentence after pleading guilty in 2018 to working as a foreign agent in the U.S. without registering...Byrne’s decision to come forward didn’t come lightly. However, he said it was necessary after watching what had transpired between the FBI, the intelligence community and the probe into President Trump’s campaign over the past several years.
“It was something I knew I had to do,” he told this reporter. “ Those running the operation were not honest and in the end I realized I was being used in some sort of soft coup.”Familiar with the possible backlash he will face, he made the decision to go public after speaking to his mentor and longtime friend billionaire Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffet, whom Byrne describes as his ‘Rabbi,’ sent SaraACarter.com a statement Tuesday night confirming his meeting with Byrne at his home in Omaha, Nebraska several weeks ago.
There are only several other reporters with knowledge of what you are about to read and another who is aware of the situation with Byrne....
The meeting between Byrne and the journalists took place in New York City. It was a little more than three hours long, for the most part completely on the record and videotaped...
Byrne revealed details about his intimate relationship with the Russian gun right’s activist Butina. Byrne was a keynote speaker on July, 8, 2015 at Freedom Fest, a yearly Libertarian gathering that hosts top speakers in Las Vegas. Shortly after his address, Butina approached him. She told him she was the leader of a gun right’s organization in Russia. He congratulated her, spoke to her shortly, but then “brushed her off.”
The young redheaded Russian graduate student then approached him again over the course of the conference and explained that she worked for the Vice Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia and sent by them to make contact with Byrne...
Butina told him that the purpose of her visit was primarily to extend an invitation to Byrne to come to Russia to speak at the Central Bank. After that, there would be a trip to a major resort to meet withvarious intellectuals and dignitaries from the Russian power structure. Butina told Byrne the event would offer him the opportunity to meet senior Russian officials and oligarchs. She wanted to see Byrne again to start preparing him for such a trip....
As she left, Butina told Byrne “I wish to make arrangements with you for this to happen with you. We will continue to communicate in disguise of a romantic relationship.”
Because of his security clearance, which he maintains for foreign policy work, he felt required to report Butina and her offer to the FBI....
When he contacted the FBI and then subsequently for the next few months “instead what I got was vague instructions that it would be ok to get to know her better.”
He said there was very little response from the FBI after his initial contact, until Butina asked him to come meet her in New York City. He told the FBI he didn’t want any vague instructions on whether to meet Butina or not because “I didn’t want my security clearance to get pulled.”
At that point the FBI gave him an explicit “green light” to meet with her....
Over time, Byrne and Butina developed an intimate relationship but at the same time he alleges he was continuously reporting on Butina to the FBI in an effort to convince them that it might be worthwhile to introduce her to some of his contacts at the Council on Foreign Relations...
Butina’s lawyer, Robert Driscoll, told this reporter that Byrne’s disclosure regarding his contact with bureau agents is significant, revealing and should be investigated by the DOJ.
“Patrick Byrne is publicly saying that he was dealing with the government in regards to Maria and I would suspect that the FBI has reports or information regarding these meetings,” said Driscoll, who noted that he repeatedly asked the FBI for all documentation collected on Butina, including interviews with witnesses, notes and any other form of documentation. The FBI, however, repeatedly told Driscoll that there was no exculpatory information to give.
Byrne’s name was not disclosed by prosecutors in the case or by the FBI. And despite the government’s earlier efforts to paint Butina as a Russian spy attempting to infiltrate Republican circles she was never investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, which charged 25 Russian agents with interfering in the U.S. election. Further, the FBI, unlike convicted Russian bombshell spy Anna Chapman, did nothing to stop Butina from meeting with high level Republican and conservative figures. The bureau also didn’t warn those conservative figures she had made contact with, even though they had her under surveillance and allegedly Byrne had been reporting on her during that time.
As noted in a column by The Hill’s John Solomon Chapman’s actions were handled differently than Butina. When one of Chapman’s associates, who went by the name of Cynthia Murphy, made contact with Alan Patricof, a major Democratic donor close to Hillary Clinton, the FBI acted swiftly to arrest the entire cell.
Although Byrne was concerned about Butina’s possible motives, he eventually became convinced that she was an intellectual being used by both the Russians and American intelligence apparatus. She was stuck between two highly contentious and secretive governments, he claimed. He relayed those concerns to the FBI, he said.
“Eventually, her conversations became less about philosophy and it became clear that she was doing things that made me quite uncomfortable,” stated Byrne. “She was basically schmoozing around with the political class and eventually she said to me at one point I want to meet anyone in the Hillary campaign, the Cruz, the Rubio campaigns.”
She repeated to him numerous times that she was not a spy, even when he directly asked her. Her mission was, she said, whoever wins the election in 2016, to have a contact into that administration, so that the liberals of Russia could be known to the new administration...
“At some point prior to the 2016 election, when Byrne’s contact with Maria diminished or ceased, the government asked and encouraged him to renew contact with her and he did so, continuing to inform the government of her activities.
Byrne fired off a warning shot to the deep state.
Patrick Byrne: I ended up in the center of the Russian and the Clinton investigations. I have all the answers. I have been sitting on them waiting for America to get there. Last summer I figured out… what they all are is all about political espionage. It had nothing to do with law enforcement, it was all political espionage. Here’s the bottom line. There is a deep state like a submarine working just beneath the waves of the periscope depth watching our shipping lane. And a nuclear ice breaker called the USS Bill Barr has snuck up on them and is about to ram midship. That’s about to happen and I think we’re about to see the biggest scandal in American history as a result. But it was all political. Everything you think you know about Russia and Clinton investigations is a lie. It’s all a cover-up. It was all political espionage.
David Asman: You think Bill Barr is going to get to the bottom of it?
Patrick Byrne: I think he has gotten to the bottom of it.
Well if there is anything in this, he (Byrne) should make sure he stays safe else he might be the next suicide(d) victim!
Familiar with the possible backlash he will face, he made the decision to go public after speaking to his mentor and longtime friend billionaire Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffet, whom Byrne describes as his ‘Rabbi,’ sent SaraACarter.com a statement Tuesday night confirming his meeting with Byrne at his home in Omaha, Nebraska several weeks ago.
“I’ve known Patrick and his family for more than 40 years,” Buffet said in an email to this reporter. “His father, Jack Byrne, saved GEICO in 1976 and I met his three boys when they were teenagers. Both Mark, the middle son, and Patrick, the youngest, worked for Berkshire Hathaway. Patrick helped the company without pay in solving a difficult business problem. Patrick is very intelligent and patriotic. He comes by Omaha periodically to see me. At the most recent visit – a few weeks ago – though I know nothing about the subject he was describing, I told him to follow his conscience.”
originally posted by: loam
Now I know why we keep hearing everyone will be shocked. Before, I was thinking how much more shocked could we get?