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The Spy Who Came

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The Daily BeastPhoto Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

Donald Trump has the power to make me a liar. I said in a post a few months ago, Cheaters Never Prosper that Trump will become our third president to suffer a Senate trial, but I gave a hint of how I think Trump might actually sum up his presidency by noting that Richard Nixon wasn’t ‘impeached’ because he avoided all the unpleasantness at showtime by resigning. I’m sure Donald Trump would’ve thought it insulting to suggest that he resign after his first hundred days, as I did in my post 100 Crazy Nights, but I’d bet he’d take that bargain in a heartbeat now, because that was before we knew about the smokin’ hot Russian spy with an assault rifle: Maria Butina, y’all.

When she was caught, I Tweeted© out that she looks EXACTLY like the last smokin’ hot Russian spy, Anna Chapman, that I wrote up in my Trump Tailor Soldier Spy post exactly a year ago. It’s as if, I don’t know, this whole thing was a Russian spy plot. On Election Day 2016, the Daily Beast reported that Butina informed her handler, Alexander Torshin (until recently the Deputy Head Russia’s central bank, but no one can find him — he’s disappeared) that she was ‘standing by and awaiting orders’ by text message. Now it appears that Robert Mueller will have her as a cooperating witness, according to the Beast, and now I have to wonder who will emerge as today’s Borglum to etch the visage of Robert Swan Mueller III onto a mountain somewhere in middle America.

I’m straight, but what I would spend for a magical night in a hotel room with the chiseled, lawyerly marine. Again, I’m straight, as in I like women, but I have to admit it, this man makes me swoon. I mean, I’d just want to ask him a few questions and stuff, about the investigation and the Justice Department and maybe his time at St. Paul’s or growing up in — and going to Princeton, or even Vietnam. Or perhaps his masterful prosecution of the 9/11 hijackers. Aw shit, I’m blushing. Just looking at his picture, you know, the one of him giving the commencement speech at Tabor Academy, where he said, ‘If you do not have integrity, nothing else matters’ to the graduating class, I get all doe-eyed! I mean this man is a REAL man. And I’m straight. Unless Mueller comes out, then I’m gay.

Whatever happens, whether Butina thinks she can pull off some Manafort-style shit show of a cooperative agreement or not, Putin and Medvedev will most certainly NOT be celebrating her as a guest of honor at some soirée at the Kremlin — as Anna Chapman enjoyed after receiving the Order of Merit (the highest Russian civilian honor) over toasts of Stoli. In Chapman’s case, her cuckolded husband Alex (a British government minister, working in America) grew suspicious of her Russian friends and divorced her shortly after the story hit the newspapers and she was arrested by the FBI. Butina’s husband, er boyfriend, Republican campaign activist Paul Erickson is no such man. He’s standing by the Russian spy who loved him, and maybe she actually fell in love with him too. I don’t know, we’ll see. It’d make for the perfect, female-friendly spy flick, complete with a Hollywood ending, let’s call it The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Loved Me. I’ve got the option. Or maybe The Big Dupes.

An NRA board member, Paul Erickson and David Keene have a long history together dating back to the 90’s when they were registered foreign agents lobbying in collaboration with Jack Abramoff for a well-known ‘dictator’ from the Congo to gain entry into the United States. Yes THAT Jack Abramoff, and here I was wondering what he was up to lately. From an article in the Rapid City Journal:

While at Yale, Erickson served as the national treasurer of the College Republicans. The other national officers and staffers at that time included Grover Norquist, who later became the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform; Ralph Reed, who later became the executive director of the national Christian Coalition; and Jack Abramoff, who became perhaps the nation’s most notoriously corrupt lobbyist when he pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion.

Here I’m reminded of Elliott Broidy, the sleazy former Deputy Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee (replaced by Michael Cohen) Broidy, who is still married, attended the NRA junket (paid for by the Russian SVR) where Butina told Torshin in another text that she would ‘let them enjoy’ themselves before ‘pressuring’ them after they gorged on all that caviar. I’m not one to usually get into folk’s personal lives (unless it involves my president and a porn star) and I’m loathe to observe that Ms. Broidy has bravely stuck by her man, even though he’s admitted to paying off his own porn star, er Playboy Playmate, Shera Bechard just like daddy Don. Signs that Butina may cop a plea deal tomorrow follow a September filing by prosecutors indicating that Butina “offered to provide information to the government about [Erickson’s] illegal activities.” The Daily Beast has also reported that a ‘target letter’ from Federal investigators has been issued against Erickson, reportedly being prosecuted for violation of 18 U.S. Code § 951 — the same charge leveled at his lover Butina.

This financing arm to Trump through the NRA may be one of the most brazen middle fingers to American democracy since the Teapot Dome scandal, and as Time Magazine honors journalists Jamal Khashoggi, those at the Capital Gazette and others as ‘Persons of the Year’ (Sorry, Don) we also celebrate the work of journalists at The Daily Beast, Buzzfeed and also McClatchy that have been on top of this important story. Thank God we have Bob Mueller on top of it as well. So here Trump, the savvy CEO who has come back from every challenge only to emerge stronger, will face his greatest challenge yet: a humiliated, pissed-off America, represented by man’s man Robert Swan Mueller III, boldly delivering a plan. If Don John refuses to go quietly, the dreamboat might humbly submit the following acts for consideration:

(1) On or about June 17, 2016, Donald John Trump corruptly encouraged his son to execute a sworn affidavit that he knew to be perjurious, false and misleading.

(2) On or about January 28, 2017, Donald John Trump corruptly engaged in, encouraged or supported a scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed in a Federal Elections Commission action brought against him.

(3) Beginning on or about February 15, 2017, and continuing through and including February 24, 2018, Donald John Trump intensified and succeeded in an effort to secure help in obstructing a criminal action brought against him in order to corruptly prevent the truthful testimony of a witness in a proceeding at a time when the truthful testimony of that witness would have been harmful to him.

(4) On November 19, 2018, at his written deposition in a Federal action brought against him and his organization, Donald John Trump corruptly allowed his attorney to make false and misleading statements to a Federal judge characterizing his statements and actions in order to prevent questioning deemed relevant by the judge. Such false and misleading statements were subsequently acknowledged by his attorney in a communication to that judge.

(5) On or about June 18 and October 20-21, 2017, Donald John Trump related a false and misleading account of events relevant to a Federal criminal action brought against him by a potential witness in a Federal Election Commission proceeding, in order to corruptly influence the testimony of that witness.

(6) On or about August 29, 30 and 31st, 2018, Donald John Trump made false and misleading statements to potential witnesses in a Federal grand jury proceeding in order to corruptly influence the testimony of other witnesses. The false and misleading statements made were repeated by the witnesses to the grand jury, causing the grand jury to receive false and misleading information.

In all of this, Donald John Trump has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President and has acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

John Underhill
December 11, 2018

NB: Credit where due, this language is actually Mitch McConnell’s, from our last impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton — with Donald John Trump switched for posterity.

Y’all.


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