Former CEO of Overstock claims that Russian agent Maria Butina, then his girlfriend, offered to arrange a private meeting between him and Putin in 2016
- Patrick Byrne claimed Tuesday in a blog post about Maria Butina
- Butina, a Russian, is now imprisoned for interference with American politics without registering
- Byrne claimed that he had a relationship with her on behalf of the government
- His confused story is that he was used as part of a political espionage plan
- Now he says that Butina has invited him to meet Putin in private in March 2016
The former CEO of Overstock.com has claimed that Russian agent Maria Butina has offered to arrange a private meeting between him, a Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Patrick Byrne, who withdrew from the company he founded last week, made the claim long blog post on Tuesday about his relationship with Butina.
Butina is currently serving a federal prison sentence for conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government without registering, and Byrne has made confusing claims that he had a relationship with her on behalf of US authorities to promote a political espionage plan.
In his blog post Byrne describes how he built a relationship with Butina in 2015 with the knowledge and encouragement of American counterintelligence employees.
Patrick Byrne claimed that Russian agent Maria Butina offered to arrange a private meeting between him, a Russian president Vladimir Putin
Butina is currently serving a federal prison sentence for conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government without registering
Byrne implies that the American counterintelligence officers were interested in insinuating Butina in the campaigns of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to develop a potential scandal.
& # 39; At the end of March 2016, Maria called me excitedly: there was an upcoming conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. Only two weeks away, & # 39; writes Byrne.
& # 39; It was large, hosted by the Ministry of Finance (or something similar big). She had made sure that I had a key language about Bitcoin and liberalism.
& # 39; I would speak, and since President Putin was in St. Petersburg the same day (he may have spoken at the same conference), it was planned that I would be alone for 60 minutes with President Putin (with Maria as a translator), & # 39, Byrne continues.
Byrne says he was tempted by the offer to meet Putin (above), but his supervisors warned him it was too dangerous and urged him to break things down with Butina
Byrne writes that he was intrigued by the ability to engage with & # 39; with Putin, but his supervisors told him it would be too dangerous to attend the meeting.
He says his supervisors told him to break off the relationship with Butina and he did.
Butina has been in prison for 18 months after being the only Russian who was arrested and convicted in the extensive three-year investigation into Russia's involvement in Russia.
With the support of a power broker from the Kremlin, she parried her supposed grass-roots Russian arms rights group into a bridge to US conservative politics and caught the attention of American counter-espionage even though it had no direct links with the major spy agencies in Moscow.
She seems to have had what made her lawyer a & # 39; romantic & # 39; relationship with Byrne, while living with her boyfriend, a republican agent, in Washington while attending graduate school at American University.
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