In the case of Maria Butina, who pleaded guilty to being an agent for Russia has taken a turn after it was revealed that the FBI’s source, Patrick Byrne, the CEO of online retailer Overstock.com, had provided the FBI with exculpatory evidence against Butina that the FBI hid in an obvious Brady violation.
The law states that prosecutors must supply the defense with all information, damning and exculpatory, but that didn’t happen.
Robert Driscoll, the Butina lawyer has sent a letter to the DOJ asking for an investigation into the possible corruption from the FBI which could have his client deported after her guilty plea.
Byrne told Driscoll and Carter that he is disclosing his contacts with the FBI because he is uneasy about the investigation and prosecution of Butina, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
“Those running the operation were not honest and in the end I realized I was being used in some sort of soft coup,” Byrne told Carter, a Fox News contributor.
“It was something I knew I had to do.”
Byrne first contacted the FBI about Butina after meeting her at a libertarian conference in July 2015. He said the FBI encouraged him to remain in contactwith Butina, and to strike up a romantic relationship with her in order to gather information about her efforts to infiltrate conservative political groups in the U.S.
“[Byrne] also told me that some of the details he provided the government regarding Maria in response was exculpatory,” the lawyer added.
Byrne said that prior to the 2016 election, after his relationship with Butina had fizzled, the FBI asked him to re-establish contact with the Russian. According to Driscoll, Byrne said that the request came “from the highest levels of the FBI and intelligence community.”