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Butina Pleads Guilty to Secret Agent Activity, Now Ratting Out Erickson

Back in July when Maria Butina, the gal he invited to speak to his Teenage Republican Camp in 2015 and praised as an “incredible” speaker, was arrested for acting as a Russian agent trying to influence dupable American Republicans, Congressional candidate Dusty Johnson called Butina “apparently, a scam artist and a liar” and expressed his hope that Butina would do “a good long while in prison.”

Now that Butina has knocked the “apparently” off Johnson’s assessment by pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as a Russian agent, she may get six months in the pokey followed by deportation back to Mother Russia.

The Statement of Offense that Butina agreed to yesterday says she and “U.S. Person 1” (that’s South Dakota’s own Paul Erickson, who is likely legal toast) “agreed and conspired, with a Russian government official” (that’s Alexander Torshin) “and at least one other person” (ooo! a new mystery player!) “for Butina to act in the United States under the direction of [Torshin] without prior notification to the Attorney General.” The purpose of this conspiracy was for Butina to “establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. policies… for the benefit of the Russian Federation.” Butina acknowledges that she used the National Rifle Association, “which Butina posited had influence over” the Republican Party, to forward the Russian plan.

The plea agreement notes that her crime could carry a maximum sentence of five years, a fine of $250K or twice the pecuniary gain or loss of the offense, and three years of supervised release. Butina has no criminal history and is promising to help the feds investigate the activities of those in her Red Circle further, but she has agreed to remain in jail without bond pending sentencing.

Butina agrees to turn over evidence of all crimes of which she is aware, plus all contraband, proceeds, and assets traceable to such crimes. She also will submit a full accounting of all assets in her name or the name of a third party. Butina agrees to testify before grand juries.

Maria Butina signature on plea agreement, dated 2018.12.08.
Maria Butina signature on plea agreement, dated 2018.12.08.

The plea agreement and statement of offense make clear that U.S. Person 1, Paul Erickson, was a partner in this crime. To keep her sentence to months not years, Butina is now rolling over on South Dakota’s political man of mystery. Let’s just hope “at least one other person” doesn’t turn out to be our man Dusty!



  1. mike from iowa 2018-12-14

    Vox and USA Today say she acted with one Russian official and one other person. I didn’t see any reference to any mystery meat third party.

    Prosecutors allege she tried to make those contacts in the US at the behest of a “Russian official” and at least one other person. The Russian official is believed to be Russian central bank official Alexander Torshin, a longtime figure in Russian politics and avid gun-rights activist.

    She was assisted in her efforts to make political contacts by a US citizen, who is identified in court documents as “US Person 1” and who is believed to be Republican political consultant Paul Erickson, according to NBC News.

    Prosecutors say that with US Person 1’s assistance and the direction of the Russian official, Butina “sought to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence in US politics.”

    They add that Butina made those contacts for the “benefit of the Russian Federation, acting through a Russian official.”

    Still, think of the intrigue – vast flyover wasteland Northern Mississippi plays a central role in one of the largest conspiracies in American political history. You go, girl.

  2. jerry 2018-12-14

    Dirty Johnson, the SDGOP, the NRA, what the hell, the whole trumpian republican party, committed or were active participants in treason. If you voted for and belong to any of these criminal organizations, we now see you for what you are, even more disgusting than the inmates of our penal institutions. Butina has plead guilty, Erickson will do the same. Check out what the Constitution says about treason.

    “What this means is that after her boyfriend pleads guilty and has a similar agreement there will be a lot of filings against NRA and GOP.

    The Department of Justice will have two witnesses who actively participated and witness NRA and GOP operatives engaging in Treason. The US Constitution states: “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.””

    What we have all suspected, what we have long observed has been the undermining of Democracy. We see that in South Dakota with the republican turning back the will and vote of the people, we see that in Wisconsins taking political power from the governor, North Carolina, the same and all the states that limit voting and other forms of subverting Democracy.

  3. Porter Lansing 2018-12-14

    If you were the Nat’l Rifle Assoc. and you had about $30 million of Putin’s money that needed to secretly get to Trump where would you do it?
    ~ South Dakota has $3.1 trillion in bank assets. The best place to hide things is often in plain sight. A measly $30 million wouldn’t even be noticed in a state with the highest deposit amount in USA and some of the weakest reporting regulations.
    ~ South Dakota ranked as the third most corrupt state in 2017.
    Lobbyists booze, schmooze, and have their way with South Dakota lawmakers. When it comes time to see what happened, disclosure forms make it difficult to tell. That’s how the state ranked 49th in that department. Meanwhile, its handle on civil service employees leaves much to be desired. In short, you can go to jail for corruption and get a job later in the state government. If there were a grade lower than F, South Dakota would get it.
    ~ IMHO, that’s why Erickson convinced Butina to set up a money laundry in the state.

  4. chris 2018-12-14

    Been wondering which fellow daschle-dumper Erickson trusted enough to email all this stuff to. Wonder what that person did when they got the news.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2018-12-14

    Admittedly, I’m sometimes slow, what precisely is a Daschle-dumper Erickson?

  6. leslie 2018-12-14

    Interestingly Roger, Erickson helped thune get elected. Dirty campaign. I did not pay attention to that level of detail in those days.

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