- The Washington Times - Friday, August 23, 2019

Rep. Thomas Massie on Friday proposed freeing Russian felon Maria Butina from federal prison and instead jailing former top FBI officials James Comey and Peter Strzok.

Mr. Massie, Kentucky Republican, made the suggestion on Twitter in light of recent developments involving Butina, a gun-rights activist currently serving an 18-month prison sentence for conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent.

Patrick Byrne, founder and former president of online retailer Overstock, resigned from the company Thursday after claiming to have dated Butina while she was under investigation. He said during subsequent television interviews that FBI officials had directed him to engage in a romantic relationship with Butina, and that both Mr. Comey, the former director of the FBI, and Mr. Strzok, a former FBI counterespionage official, were among those involved.

“The feds should let Maria Butina out of jail and put James Comey and Peter Strzok in her cell,” Mr. Massie tweeted.

Responding to Mr. Byrne’s allegations Thursday, Mr. Comey dismissed his claims as “ridiculous,” CNN reported.

“The FBI doesn’t work that way,” Mr. Comey said.

Butina, 30, was charged by prosecutors of infiltrating conservative groups including the National Rifle Associate to covertly advance Russian interests in the U.S. She pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of conspiracy and is scheduled to be released from prison later this year.

Mr. Massie, 48, has represented Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District on Capitol Hill since 2012.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide