Posted on May 15 2019
Maria what are you doing?
It is almost like the warning signs have been there...the cautionary tale of Butina and her “plea deal”. On April 23, 2019 I decided to embark on a much deeper dive into Maria Butina in advance of her sentencing. See entry here.
I also archived my Twitter Thread, found here. Because to the best of my knowledge not a single mainstream media news outlet reported or even bothered to run an ECF query. I did and that’s why I created the second twitter thread Because it did not make any sense to me, why Butina would:
1) file this in the EDPA
2) how her filing did not comport with the Terms and Conditions of her “executed” plea deal.
Given enough time, I was able to find you an Open Source Link to:
As a refresher you may want to reread Butina’s:
Terms and Conditions of Plea Deal
I’d also encourage you to re-read Butina’s Plea Deal, as noted on page 1 and signed by Butina and her defense counselors (page 12) she voluntarily signed the Plea Deal, moreover she admitted to guilt because she acknowledged that she was guilty of the actions itemized in the Statement of Offense.
specifically pages 6 and 7 which clearly address her waiver of “Appeal Rights”...as particularized under subsection B. Appeal Rights
So unless Butina is now arguing ineffective representation I can not see how her Appeal has any likelihood of success. again the only waiver:
“...on the basis of ineffective assistance of Counsel...”
This is the Department of Justice April 29, 2019 Press Release, which reads in part:
Butina, 30, a Russian citizen who had been residing in Washington D.C., pled guilty on Dec. 13, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was sentenced by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. Following her incarceration, she is to be deported to Russia.
According to the government’s evidence, from approximately 2015 to 2017, Butina acted as an agent of a Russian government official. Under his direction, she provided key information about Americans who were in a position to influence United States politics and took steps to establish an unofficial line of communication between Russia and these Americans. As described in the plea documents, Butina sought to do so for the benefit of the Russian Federation. She took these actions without providing the required notifications to the Attorney General that she was in fact acting as an agent of the Russian Federation.
This is the May 1, 2019 Final Judgement
Butina’s Notice of Appeal, what you may not know is Defendants have a right to file a motion of Reconsideration (I believe they have up to 1 year post Final Judgement) but again Butina isn’t filing a Motion of Reconsideration, she’s filing an Appeal
I guess we will always have Butina & Erickson’s Beauty and the Beast Karaoke
With respect to Butina’s notice of Appeal...I would strongly recommend you re-read the December 2018 Hearing Transcript. Specifically page 9, lines 10 thru 25, respectively, re “satisfaction with counsel” the transcript of the hearing reads in part:
THE COURT: Ms. Butina, are you satisfied -- well, first of all, are you satisfied with the services of your lawyer, Mr. Driscoll?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Having spoken to Mr. Kramer, are you satisfied regarding your discussion with him about going forward today?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. And do you wish to continue to go forward today?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
On page 10 lines 7 thru 25 which address Butina’s guilty plea, statement of offense and the plea deal:
THE COURT: ...have some documents that have been signed by you, Ms. Butina, including a Statement of Offense and a plea letter dated December 6th. Did you sign -- well, the plea letter is actually signed on the 8th of December. The Statement of Offense is signed on the 8th of December. Did you sign those documents before or after you met with Mr. Kramer?
THE DEFENDANT: I signed them after I met with Mr. Kramer.
THE COURT: All right. Perfect. Great. So you had already been advised. Okay. So, Ms. Butina, I assume you have never pleaded guilty in a court of law before.
THE DEFENDANT: No.
THE COURT: So the procedure takes a little while because there are certain findings I have to make. The first thing I have to make sure is that your plea of guilty -- that you're competent to make your plea of guilty; that is, you're of sound mind and of clear mind and you understand what you're doing. So I'll ask you several questions in that regard...
Transcript Pages 11-19 of the December Hearing are pretty standard but again I can not emphasize enough how these details matter and what impact they will likely have on Butina’s Appeal, as in the efficacy of her appeal.
The following pages of the December 2018 Hearing Transcript cover Butina’s “of sound mind” and her “voluntary” execution of the Plea Deal. Again this is going to be important because this will limit Butina’s argument in regards to her (predicable) future argument that she “was tricked” and the “government set her up”..
And as you might recall during November of 2018 Butina’s attorneys filed motions that the solitary confinement was “having an adverse impact on Butina’s mental health.” As such the Judge took great care during the December 2018 Plea Hearing to address the previous motions and validated that Butina was of sound mind and not under any duress when signing the Statement of Offense and Plea Deal...
THE COURT: ...on November 21, 2018, Ms. Butina had been in administrative segregation housing at William Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria, Virginia, and you described in your motion that Ms. Butina was suffering certain deprivations. She was deprived of meaningful human contact or sensory stimulation. Importantly, for the purposes of this hearing, you stated that "prolonged deprivation of human contact and interaction is starting to have a profound psychological impact on Ms. Butina. Unless the Court intervenes, she will continue to be held in this manner and ultimately will require the attention of mental health professionals." I denied that motion.
Again I highly recommend you reread the December 2018 Hearing Transcript. And I probably shouldn’t say this but: I. TOLD. YOU. SO. that Butina would matriculate judicial chaos and her plea deal was a weapon.
If only someone would have heeded said warnings. But meh I’ve been bounced off twitter so many times that at this point I’ve lost count. So this blog is the only “microphone” I have, for now.
But at a certain point I would hope people would start to dig deeper or at the minimal take the time to read and research because I’m fairly certain in December of 2018 I said “I don’t trust Butina and neither should our Government”...yet here we are on May 15, 2019 and the concerns I saw have now fruition to actual acts that should alarm all of us...-Spicy
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