A Democratic operative has uncovered a photo of the former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party posing with an alleged Russian spy that was recently indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Saul Anuzis, a man who chaired the Michigan GOP from 2005 to 2009 and once ran for the chairmanship of the national party, admitted that he met newly-indicted Russian national Maria Butina at the FreedomFest annual conservative gathering in either 2015 or 2016.
The photo was circulated on social media Monday night after Brandon Dillon, the chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, posted it on Twitter.
“Look at this,” Dillon tweeted. “Former @MIGOP chairman Saul Anuzis hanging out with a Russian spy.”
“It would be great to know how many Russian contacts [GOP Chairman Ronna McDaniel] had when she was running the Trump campaign in Michigan,” he continued.
Look at this. Former @MIGOP chairman Saul Anuzis hanging out with a Russian spy. It would be great to know how many Russian contacts @GOPChairwoman had when she was running the Trump campaign in Michigan. #TreasonousTrump #TreasonSummit #Russia pic.twitter.com/m4Wz0KRXTf
— Brandon Dillon (@BrandonDillon75) July 16, 2018
“In the photograph being circulated on social media, Anuzis said he believes he was looking on as Butina was being interviewed by a media outlet,” the Freep reported. “He said he understood she was a Russian proponent of gun rights and the National Rifle Association.”
Butina, age 29, was arrested Monday after being indicted along with 11 other Russian nationals. She’s been charged with “trying to infiltrate U.S. political groups, including an unnamed gun rights organization, and cultivate relationships with American politicians to establish ‘back channel’ lines of communication to advance Russia’s agenda,” the report noted.
(Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Butina was indicted by Mueller.)