Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has been openly loyal to Russia for decades. Now we have confirmation that this is not just some weird abstract fanboyism on Rohrabacher’s part, as he’s been caught up in the indictment and arrest of Russian political operative Maria Butina. Rohrabacher is, to put it in layman’s terms, screwed. But he’s not the only Republican Congressman who’s now caught up in this mess.
When the indictment of Butina was publicly released, it quickly became clear that Dana Rohrabacher was the Congressman who allegedly met with her during the 2016 election cycle. This led Rohrabacher to go ahead and admit that he did indeed have dinner with her, while saying that he’s not sure if he’s the Congressman referenced in the Butina indictment. That means it’s him, or he’d be denying it. But Rohrabacher is not the only GOP member caught up in the Butina indictment.
The paperwork in the Butina case reveals that during the election, “key leaders” of the Republican Party had a backchannel with the Kremlin through the NRA. Rohrabacher would not fit the definition of a Republican Party leader. Instead that label would apply to positions such as the Majority Leader, Whip, and Committee Chairs, although there’s no indiction in this paperwork as to which of those people were involved. Because nearly everyone in the GOP takes donations from the NRA, this backchannel would seem to prove that they knew they were illegally taking Russian money when they accepted those NRA donations. It gets worse.
We still don’t know which Republican Congressman was accused in Friday’s indictments of having colluded with the Russian government spies who hacked the Democratic Party and distributed that material for Donald Trump’s gain. The paperwork lists the individual as having been a “candidate” in 2016, and while Dana Rohrabacher was technically a candidate in 2016 when he ran for reelection as an incumbent, the wording makes it sound like someone who was first elected in 2016. That means we’re looking at yet another GOP member of Congress tied up in these indictments.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report