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GOP-linked Russian agent doesn’t fear persecution by the Kremlin after cooperating with FBI

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On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that Maria Butina, who admitted in court to being a covert agent of Russia in December, is seeking expedited deportation back to Russia. And curiously, she does not fear reprisal at the hands of the Kremlin:

In the filing, released on Friday, Butina asked for a judicial order of removal, which would keep her and the government from having to go through the typical process Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to deport immigrants. In short, the filing expedites her deportation from the country. In the filing, Butina a Russian national, who pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count said she does not expect to face persecution or torture in Russia.

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This is surprising, given that Butina entered a plea agreement that required her cooperation with federal authorities, and the Russian government has a history of carrying out hits on former assets they no longer trust.

Butina was part of a complex scheme to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party, organized with the help of Vladimir Putin ally Alexander Torshin. She has been romantically involved with GOP strategist Paul Erickson, who is under investigation as part of the scheme and has been indicted in a completely separate fraud case in South Dakota.


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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Congress still has one big tool left to rein in Trump’s corruption: Oversight Committee Democrat

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Senate Republicans may have managed to quash the impeachment trial without calling forth any new witnesses or seriously considering the evidence against President Donald Trump. And the president may feel vindicated and largely invulnerable as a result.

But, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, that doesn't mean Democrats don't have one last big play to rein in the president's abuses of power. They can use the first and strongest authority delegated to them: the power of the purse.

"What can Democrats really do when it comes to oversight of the president?" asked Cooper. "I mean, now that impeachment is over, does seem like there are fewer and fewer guardrails, if any."

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