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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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump-voting evangelist drops the ‘blasphemy’ hammer on president for deifying himself

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In a column for the Washington Post, an evangelical leader who admits he voted for Donald Trump in 2016  is very displeased that the president anointed himself the "chosen one" when speaking with the press on Wednesday.

According to Jay Lowder who heads up the Harvest Ministries in Wichita Falls, Texas, the president stepped over a line with his boast -- calling it "disturbing."

"Since President Trump’s election, many in the evangelical community have lauded him, grateful for his work to protect and propel some of the Christian values we hold so dear," before pointing out that a comparison to Jesus by man who "claims to be a Christian" is nothing less than " shocking, blasphemous and sacrilegious."

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Couple who ran demon-obsessed gay ‘conversion therapy’ camp indicted on human trafficking charges

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An Alabama couple who operated a controversial gay "conversion therapy" camp has been indicted on human trafficking charges in connection with a new religious facility they set up in Texas.

A grand jury indicted 49-year-old Gary Wiggins and 34-year-old Meghann Wiggins after investigators found they had forced children to work at their Joshua Home for troubled boys, reported KXAN-TV.

Burnet County officials raided the 10-acre property near Bertram in July 2018, where they removed eight boys between 10 and 17 years old as part of an investigation into possible abuse, neglect, labor violations, fraud, licensing violations and human trafficking.

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Trump officials to face congressional grilling over president’s link to white nationalist terrorism

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Next week, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are poised to question members of the Trump administration about the dangerous rise in white nationalist violence.

Just last weekend, a man slaughtered dozens of people in El Paso, Texas, after citing an "invasion" on the Southwest border.

In addition to questioning senior national security officials about the rise in white nationalism violence, they also plan to ask them whether they think President Donald Trump is instigating violent acts with his rhetoric, reports Greg Sargent in the Washington Post.

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