Butina was indicted back in July, and the federal charging document all-but-named Erickson in its accusations that Butina infiltrated the conservative movement on Moscow’s behalf. But Erickson didn’t lawyer up until a month or so ago, according to two individuals with direct knowledge of Erickson’s affairs. Those sources added that he has struggled to cobble together funds to pay for representation. The former GOP operative appealed to former University of Virginia law school classmates for recommendations on which attorneys to hire, the sources said.
The U.S. attorney’s office in South Dakota is currently leading a fraud investigation into Erickson’s past business dealings and the FBI has questioned those in his orbit for the last several months, according to three people familiar with the probes.
…Despite the ongoing investigations and his reported ties to Butina’s activities, Erickson frequently visits her in jail, two individuals with knowledge of the meetings told The Daily Beast. Erickson apparently expressed frustration to friends over the fact that jail staff forced him to sign into the main visitor log, fearing the media would find out [Erin Banco and Betsy Woodruff, “Maria Butina Beau Paul Erickson Finally Lawyers Up,” The Daily Beast, 2018.11.28].
Being unable to prove her guilt in a fair trial, the American authorities set the objective to break her and force her to confess to the crimes she has never committed. She is subjected to sophisticated torture: for two weeks in prison she was not allowed to sleep, being woken every 15 minutes; she was also kept in a cold facility and denied medical care; subjected to humiliating strip searches, as well as to repeated and lengthy periods of administrative segregation, which, in total, have amounted to nearly three months….
I appeal to you because I am not sure that it is possible for an ordinary person to endure such trials. And, I don’t know how much longer Maria will be able to withstand it, refusing to confess non-existent guilt [letter attributed to Valery Butin, posted on Russian government owned Sputnik News, “‘US Authorities Wants to Break Her’—Butina’s Father Asks Putin for Help,” 2018.11.28].
Valery Butin tells Russian government-owned news agency TASS that after allowing Maria to teach yoga and algebra to her fellow prisoners, U.S. officials have thrown the accused spy back into isolation 22 hours a day. Butin also says his daughter’s legal defense fund has received no donations. Paul, really? What kind of a boyfriend are you, spending money on your own lawyers but not helping your best gal?