With the revelation that Maria Butina is doing a plea deal with Federal prosecutors, and is going to be a cooperating witness, the question arises: Does this have implications for Mitch McConnell?
We already know that Butina was working “to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics…for the benefit of the Russian Federation.” And, we know that much of that work was done through contacts in the NRA.
In fact, Butina was a last-minute addition to the NRA convention held in Louisville, and actually spoke at the event. There were also reports that she talked with Donald Trump Jr. while there.
And finally, we know that various Russians put money into the 2016 campaign, including into Mitch McConnell’s PAC.
So, if Butina starts telling what she knows about the money, and the NRA, and “Americans having power,” does that wind up sitting on McConnell’s doorstep?
Many have speculated that the reason some Republicans are reticent to do anything to protect Mueller, or to stand up to Trump, is that they are in the same boat of compromise.
At this point, it is only speculation (other than the links noted above). But if McConnell’s PAC took money from a Russian national, and it can be proven that the gift was part of Butina’s influence campaign, it could become at least an embarrasment, and at worst a criminal matter.
It will be interesting to see what the Butina cooperation reveals.