So what does an ex-U.S. Sheriff have in common with an accused Russian spy? Hanging out at National Rifle Association (NRA) events and traveling together to Russia, among other things, it seems.
It has surfaced that then-Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke went on a six-day organized trip to Russia in 2015, a group founded by an alleged Russian spy actually footed the bill for his expenses.
Maria Butina was just charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with trying to infiltrate the NRA and other political groups. Yet she and Clarke, who was part of an NRA delegation, appeared together during an NRA trip.
“Butina’s group, The Right to Bear Arms, covered $6,000 of Clarke’s meal, hotel, and transportation expenses, according to the ex-sheriff’s Milwaukee County financial disclosure form,” Fox6now News reported.
There are several photos in which the alleged covert Russian agent and Clarke appear together. Photos on Butina’s own “Facebook page showed Butina seated below and immediately to the left of a sign which read, ‘Welcome to Russia, Comrads.’ The top of the sign showed a silhouette of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square. Sheriff Clarke was tagged as the man wearing black vest in the upper right of the photo,” Law & Crime reported.
It was a free trip for Clarke, in part paid by Butina’s group. “The Right to Bear Arms paid $1,200 for Clarke’s meals–an average of $200 per day he was in the country, according to Clarke’s financial disclosure form. Butina’s group also paid $3,000 for Clarke’s hotel, $1,000 for his transportation in Russia and $800 for an expense labeled ‘excursions,’” Fox6now News reported.
The rest of Clarke’s $40,000 expenses for a 16-day overseas trip, which also included a stop in Israel, was paid for by the NRA.
In a criminal complaint, the Justice Department says her job was to “identify and exploit personal connections with U.S. persons having influence in American politics.” The DOJ unsealed an indictment against Butina, and it “alleges Butina was a go-between between at least one high-ranking Russian official and a series of American politicians, at least one American political party, and a gun rights organization. Butina’s Facebook page indicates she attended at least one large NRA convention in the United States. Butina was in the U.S. on a student visa,” Law & Crime reported.
Clarke, who currently lives near Washington, D.C. and is a political consulting business, headed the Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff’s Department from 2002 to 2017. Fox6now News reported: “He was said to have been considered for a spot in the Trump Administration; however, he reportedly now works for a pro-Trump political action committee.”
Here is Sherriff Clarke showing teeth with spy Maria Butina. She was indicted today.
Coonin' for checks may get your ass locked up. pic.twitter.com/hoZ63oZFMP
— Jamarlin Martin (@JamarlinMartin) July 16, 2018
Why is no one talking about the fact that Scott Walker and David Clarke worked together for nearly a decade as County Executive and Sheriff in Milwaukee County and they are now both tied to an indicted Russian spy?
This is not a coincidence. What were they up to together? pic.twitter.com/DcNMPIcnvK
— WalkerIsTheWorst (@WalkerWorst) July 20, 2018
So Maria Butina and former "Sheriff" David Clarke spent some time together in Russia. Butina indicted as a spy today. pic.twitter.com/XlNXaCWJVH
— Wouter van der Horst (@DerWouter) July 17, 2018
— Ted Lorenz (@TedLorenz) July 17, 2018