Certain members of the FBI reportedly knew about recently charged Russian operative Maria Butina and her operations but did not warn anyone.
Butina was indicted this week on charges of being a covert Russian agent but, according to investigative reporter John Solomon, the FBI knew about Butina’s nefarious activities as she befriended leaders of the National Rifle Association and the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“I’ll tell you a little story I’ve never told before,” Solomon told Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs on Wednesday.
“In March of 2015, I observed her at several events and really cozying up to conservatives and making what I thought was a weak-handed case that she was this courageous gun rights activist going up against Putin and there would one day be a Second Amendment in Russia,” Solomon recounted.
“There’s never going to be a Second Amendment in Russia,” he added.
“I became very perplexed by her behavior and her efforts of going up to presidential candidates and congressional candidates,” Solomon explained. “So I started to do some reporting and I called FBI and US intelligence sources and very quickly I learned, ‘Yeah, we know that she’s somebody here as an agent of influence.'”
Solomon recalled that he wondered at the time if Butina’s intentions and identity as an agent of the Russian Federation would be exposed.
“And I thought, that’s really interesting. Are they going to tell the people she’s meeting with, and it doesn’t appear they ever did,” Solomon told Dobbs.
“I thought the role of FBI counter-intelligence was to prevent contacts from occurring that are not in the interest of the United States,” he added. “It sounds like they sat around and watched this for three or four years until it was convenient to create a headline.”
Butina, 29, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia and is being held without bond, Fox News reported.
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