Former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa told CNN on Thursday that because Russian spy Maria Butina didn’t have diplomatic cover, she may well have been under FISA surveillance, spelling trouble for anyone to whom she may have spoken.
Rangappa said that Russian election interference boiled down to a political influence campaign operating on “a number of different fronts”, from disinformation spread through social media to hacking the DNC. “It’s when spies are acting fairly overtly, she said, “and essentially trying to court, recruit, assess people who may be able to then influence policy towards Russia.”
“Two things that stand out to me here, most spies are here under diplomatic cover precisely so if they get caught, they have diplomatic immunity,” Rangappa continued. “Maria Butina was here without diplomatic cover so she’s caught in the cross hairs of criminal prosecution.”
“If the government has evidence that she was acting at the direction and control of Russia, that makes her an agent of a foreign power, which means she would have been a legitimate target for FISA surveillance,” she added. “Anyone talking to her at that time would be captured on that as well. I agree with [CNN analyst Jack Quinn] that there could be many other people who should be concerned at this point.”
Watch the video below.
Mueller agrees to testify in public about Russia investigation after House Democrats issue subpoena: report
On Tuesday evening, CNN reported that former special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify in public about the Russia investigation, following subpoenas from House Democrats.
"The House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee announced ... the special counsel has agreed to appear in public on July 17th in an open session to testify about what he found as a part of his two-year investigation into Russian interference, as well as potential obstruction of justice in the White House," said CNN reported Manu Raju. "Now, they say in this letter, both the chairmen of these committees, Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff, that they have subpoenaed Bob Mueller and he's agreed to testify under subpoena."
Prosecutors offered indicted GOP congressman a deal to keep his multiple taxpayer-funded trysts quiet — but he refused
On Tuesday, CNN reported that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), facing indictment for stealing campaign funds and falsifying spending reports, was offered a deal by to keep secret the incidents in which he used taxpayer money to finance affairs with lobbyists — but he refused.
"Prosecutors told a judge they tried to cut a deal with Hunter to avoid revealing the alleged tryst, but his attorneys refused," reported CNN's Tom Foreman.
The affairs were made public shortly after it was revealed that Hunter's wife Margaret, an alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, was cooperating with prosecutors. Hunter had previously tried to blame the entire scheme on his wife — a claim that looks increasingly dubious.
Trump elicits unintentional laughter in Oval Office meeting: My wars ‘don’t need exit strategies’
President Donald Trump revealed on Tuesday that he does not use exit strategies when planning for war.
During an Oval Office press gaggle, the president was asked if he had a plan for ending a possible war with Iran.
"You're not going to need an exit strategy," Trump opined, possibly misunderstanding the term. "I don't need exit strategies."
Some in the room could be heard audibly laughing as the president answered.
Watch the video below from CNN.