After appearing on Fox Business, former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne appeared on Fox TV with Martha MacCallum. In this interview Byrne explained his impetus for contacting the FBI in 2015, about Russian national Maria Butina, surrounded a low-level security clearance he held and a responsibility to report suspicious contacts.
Mr. Byrne then names Peter Strzok, Bill Priestap, Andrew McCabe and James Comey as the top of an operation where Byrne was instructed to guide Butina into the contact circle of republican presidential candidates in 2015, and then back away.
Curiously, if you get beyond the confusing mess of communication, what Byrne is describing does factually align with what is already known. However, Byrne is describing an aspect to the DOJ/FBI operation that has not been discussed very much.
Byrne is describing the DOJ-NSD and FBI using Russian national Maria Butina as an unwitting, walking, FISA surveillance virus.
In addition to Strzok, Priestap, McCabe and Comey, Patrick Byrne cites “Carlin” as one of the “suits” involved. Carlin is likely a reference to John Carlin who was head of the DOJ-National Security Division until October 2016.
John Carlin was the person who lied to the FISA court about non-compliant FISA-702(16)(17) searches; and then resigned only a few days before the Carter Page FISA application was submitted and approved.
Putting the issues together it seems Patrick Byrne is describing how Maria Butina, a Russian national, was allowed to run around in republican political circles by the FBI so they could create the impression of Russian infiltrators in/around the Rubio, Cruz and Trump campaigns.
Perhaps Patrick Byrne’s reporting of his security driven concerns was used to initiate legal FISA surveillance on Maria Butina. That sounds like what he ends up describing.
As a Russian national the DOJ/FBI wouldn’t need a surveillance ‘warrant‘. That would make Maria Butina essentially a walking Ebola surveillance virus, and any American she came into contact with would be infected for legal FISA-702 surveillance.
Makes sense if you think about it..
Run Ms. Butina into Rubio, Cruz and Trump campaigns and violá legal FISA(702) searches, surveillance and subsequent legally authorized unmaskings etc. Per the interview that is what Byrne appears to describe as happening from December 2015 through April(ish) 2016.
Staying with the nuggets within the word salad of an interview…. After April 2016, Patrick Byrne is asked by the FBI to re-engage with Maria Butina, only now targeted exclusively toward candidate Trump. Byrne is asked to develop a romantic relationship and introduce Butina to people politically connected in/around the Trump campaign.
Maria Butina was the walking FISA ebola virus. Ultimately, after the field narrowed, the Trump campaign became the target. To keep an arms length from the obvious motive of political surveillance, the FBI used Patrick Byrne as a civilian handler for Maria Butina.
Along the way Patrick Byrne suspected this was all sketchy. His work as a civilian handler for a Russian national, positioned as a Russian agent, by and for a politically motivated FBI operation, is what Byrne is now revealing.
Yes, the way Byrne describes it is weird; however, behind the odd descriptions, what he is describing does make sense.
Now read the letter (full pdf below) from Butina’s former lawyer to Inspector General Michael Horowitz and U.S. Attorney John Durham: