Maria Butina and I, Part Deux: Romancing Maria

Pavel Starikov from Russia [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

At this point I am going to be discrete, other than to say that contact was re-established with Men in Black (I avoid using the “F” acronym for reasons that will become clear).

Pictured: Maria Butina
Credit: Pavel Starikov Wikimedia Commons

Why do I say, “re-established”? Because twice, over the decades, I have had the honor of helping them. Why would a (flag-waving) libertarian ever help feds? I will explain both. The first is short, and the second is long (yet germane):

  1. I had a great friend named Brian Williams. In 2002 he was murdered. I helped bring the killer to justice, in a manner of speaking. Numerous sensationalist TV reenactments have been made, which should all be skipped. A surprisingly well-written story appeared in Sports Illustrated some years ago (“Lost Soul” by Chris Ballard) about Brian’s life and death that captures Brian’s spirit. It alludes to some minor involvement I had in helping the authorities sort it out. It was my honor to do so.
  2. On August 23, a United States Attorney named Brett Tolman appeared on Fox News with Dan Bongino (himself a retired federal officer). At minute 1:25 Mr. Tolman says something about me:

“I know Patrick Byrne. I‘ve known him for years. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with him today talking about it. When he indicates that he has previously worked for the FBI and provided information, he is telling the truth. Back in 2005-2006 I was Chief Counsel at the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he brought to us inside information about manipulation that was going on in Wall Street. It turned out that it was accurate, and it was investigated, and it became part of a much larger investigation. So my experience with him is very fascinating, because while he’s eccentric, he has been accurate historically with me and with others.”

To understand what is going on now, it is not necessary to read all the backstory about Wall Street and me from years ago (but you are on the site to do it, if you wish). Just know this: whenever I told the story publicly, I always left something out. I always said that I had gone to DC in 2005-2006 trying to get help exposing Wall Street but had found it captured, “turtles all the way down.” That was never the full truth. The truth is, the Senate Judiciary Committee was fantastic. Members and staff of both parties were great to me. Like me, they were curious not just about the underlying matter I was bringing to them (which is that I thought we had a crack in the national capital market’s settlement system, and it might quake at any moment: indeed, on October 23, 2008, Greenspan identified “settlement” as one of the three main culprits in the crisis). Like me, they were also curious about the reaction (or lack thereof) on the parts of the government that should have been reacting back in 2005-2006.(1)  

That’s because, as the committee overseeing any activity in the USA touched by a criminal or civil penalty, the Senate Judiciary Committee has oversight jurisdiction on everything related to corruption. I swam around on Wall Street 2005-2008 drawing fire from the Establishment, in part so that the FBI and I could watch who was going after me, and put together the hedge funds, regulators, journalists, and maybe even parts of the government, who seemed to be in cahoots.

In the autumn of 2009, I was called one morning by a Man in Black, who said words I will treasure to my dying day: “Patrick, the Bureau wishes to thank you for what you have done. It is almost unprecedented. You are going to see handcuffs come out this week. You need to live the rest of your life knowing that everyone you see us arrest suspects your fingerprints are on his problems.”

A few days later, Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon was arrested. He was the first of about 200 indictments (and more than 100 people who went to prison). Take a look at the photos showing perps being walked out of hedge funds in handcuffs. Each was walked out by the same guy, a solid-looking, square-jawed Korean-American FBI agent. That’s the guy who uttered those words to me above. He’s the new Eliot Ness of the FBI.

That all happened with the FBI because in 2005 I found a single group in Washington DC that would listen to me and my tales of what I knew was encountering on Wall Street: the Senate Judiciary Committee. And on that committee, before he became a US Attorney, was young Bret Tolman. Without the beard. And he saw what he described above.

Those two times I was honored to provide modest help to the Men in Black.

I intend to be fuzzy about Men in Black, but I would like to be clear about one thing: they are men and women, white, black, Latino, and other — some look like Captain America, some like Serpico, some look like librarians, and some look like models — and I came to respect them in the same way I do the young men or women I see in uniform at airports, trying to make a flight. That sounds funny for a libertarian to say, I suppose, but remember, libertarians like consent of the governed. And once that consent has been found, we like rule of law, because what’s the point of going to all the trouble of finding out what law the governed consent to, if that’s not the law that gets enforced? Lack of rule of law undermines our whole liberal “consent of the governed” thing.

Popular culture makes fun of federal officers for being strait-laced, stiff, and formal. It’s true they don’t care about being your friend: they just want the facts. Yet at times that is a relief, such as when your closest friend has disappeared on a boat, or when you put together a criminal financial plot that you think may collapse Wall Street. In such times, that is precisely what you want, even if you never knew it before. You learn that you want a formal, stiff, unsmiling character looking at you across a table in gray room with a legal pad. Even though it generally means putting up with getting pushed around and accused of things that had never occurred to you or even would occur to you. It’s the price we pay for rule of law. Try living without it. (2)

The day I had lunch with Maria Butina, I sent the proper notification to the administrative Office of Personnel that looks after three million security clearances: suddenly, the Men in Black were back in touch with me. The details of everything related to how those communications occurred will be omitted (other than to say that, initially, was it partially face-to-face, but by December 2015 it was entirely face-to-face).

All I wanted to know was, if I went to Russia and met with their liberals, would I have to get hassled about it when I returned? And could I introduce her to someone in our foreign policy establishment, like 93-year-old General Vessey? Or need I cut her out of my life?   They seemed to suggest that I should learn more, then they would decide. But they emphasized that they were not sure. Messages went back and forth for two months.

Meanwhile, Maria was texting me, inviting me to meet in Montenegro, then Rome, Paris, etc. Watching my videos on liberalism. Pretending to fall in love, to create a reason to meet again and talk. But meanwhile, I was being told half-heartedly, “Well maybe it’s OK, but we’re not sure…”

Finally, in September of 2015 I received something that sounded like they wanted me to meet her again. It started occurring to me; “Do they want me to meet her without having to take responsibility? Damn, then are they are going to show up in a month, act shocked, interrogate me endlessly, accuse me of this and that? Screw that, that’s what happened that other time.”  

In an effort to make things clear, I sent a binary message along the lines of: Not wanting to get in a hassle with the U.S. government, I am not going to meet Maria again unless I hear the word, “Greenlight.”

They responded: “Greenlight.”

I was mildly surprised, but pleased.* I have played a minor, minor role in three peace events in my life (and though I critique Chomsky sometimes, the credit for one of them must be given to him and his writings on East Timor). I thought it might be possible that Maria Butina, a liberal from Russia, with all her connections, might be a good person to get to know. I have seen stranger events lead something good – including to peace.

So in September 2015 Maria and I met for a second time in a hotel in New York City, with the idea that we would spend a few days getting to know each other, plan a trip to Russia to talk at their Central Bank on bitcoin and how blockchain will change the world, and to meet her liberal friends in Moscow among the oligarchs.

Naturally I arranged two rooms, but to be consistent with her faux-romantic texts I arranged a two-bedroom suite. She was arriving first, and I assumed that when I arrived, we would laugh about the pretense and take separate rooms.

A gentleman does not normally say, but it would be ridiculous to omit, given how germane it is: when I arrived, Maria made immediately clear that she had not been pretending. She had indeed watched my videos, and thought I was pretty cool. She, the Greater Moscow Powerlifting Champion (amateur) swept me and my liberalism off my feet. I was helpless, helpless I say….

Well, not really. About the “helpless” part, anyway. The rest is true. And I will say this: Maria is a spectacular woman. An unforgettable woman. So as to avoid returning to the subject, I will state that every tryst with Maria she astonished me with her intellect, character, and intentions for the world. Great props to Mother Russia, for producing such a daughter.


To keep Church Ladies from hammering me on message boards, and because it is relevant: For Maria’s part, she sounded like there were some big-shot Republicans in her life in America she was seeing, she was back and forth to Russia, nothing was too serious, etc. I didn’t really pry.

For my part: I am a lifelong bachelor. I didn’t plan it that way, I’m 56, there were some end-of-life issues since I was 22, and it just turned out that way. I give great tryst. I have no Act III whatsoever, but my Acts I and II are dynamite. So to Church Ladies I say: Sorry, but this is just my life. Stuff like this happens to me. I don’t make the rules.

At the end of our first three day tryst, I proposed the following: “I know you are a young gal, making your way in America. I’ll make you an offer: from time to time, when you get tired of hanging out with Republican big-shots, give me a call. Every six weeks or so suits me just fine. Pick a city you want to see while you’re in America, like Miami, or San Francisco, I’ll just send you a ticket and we’ll make a weekend of it.” She smiled.


Let us get past the salacious part, and to the important part. After a weekend in New York, learning about whom she knew and what her thinking was, I rated the odds as:

  • ½ – 2/3 this is good, and handled properly, the right people might start talking to each other. Something good might come of it. Like… peace? Or at least some good connective tissue. And if it means I am talking in the Central Bank of Russia or a resort in the Altai Mountains about the origin of the Austrian School in the work of the Scholastics of Salamanca, and why its important to understand the Austrian economists when thinking about what a blockchain-based governance and financial system might look like…..Well, I’m not sure that risks national security so much.
  • 1/3 – ½ This is a risk, a set-up, a scheme of some sort. Maria does mention a lot of US political big-shots to whom she is introduced.

Again, I am not going to go into forms of communication with the Men In Black, but would like to share the substance. The problem is, though, that at this point reality split in two, and I was not sure which was the real reality. Here were the choices:

  • Bureaucratic – The federal government is occasionally bureaucratic. The Men in Black were ignoring my observations and suggestions, and reacting as though I was just smitten by some lovely Russian woman I met in Vegas (“Yeah right. How many of those are there in Vegas?”)   They acted like they might be willing to be talked into thinking that perhaps there could be something gained by having Maria meet thinkers in our foreign policy establishment someday, but we’re not sure, so  just get to know her better and tell us why we should….. It got frustrating. Like something out of a Monty Python script. On the one side, me emphasizing to them: She knows this oligarch and that, she knows this Moscow politician and she knows that, she reads Hayek and Jefferson, but she’s over here swimming around in our political circles with this big-shot and that …
  • Trick – The other possibility is that they were only pretending to ignore me, and they were just playing dumb. My gut kept telling me that. But I could not figure out why. If they wanted her out of my life, all they had to do is say so: I gave them the chance numerous times. I did it plenty of times when I went after Wall Street people and things that smelled wrong. Was it because they wanted me to digging into her and trying to convince them? Or was there something else?

I saw Maria sporadically every 4-6 weeks (+/-?) from September 2015 through March 2016. Over time, Maria’s pillow talk became less about John Locke and John Stuart Mill, and more about the US political circles in which she was coming to swank around. As a result, by March my estimation of the risks had changed from 2/3 – 1/3 to 1/3 – 2/3.

By November-December, 2015 she let me know that Torshin had suggested she focus on Hillary, Rubio, Cruz, and Trump. Whichever of the four won, she was to have a contact in their administration. Torshin thought that there was no chance Bernie would win, so Maria did not waste time trying to meet anyone in his camp.

If there was one flicker of interest from the US Government, it was in hearing that about Hillary. However, after another tryst somewhere, I let the Men In Black know that Maria had indeed checked off meeting someone in Hillary’s circle (I forget whom she met), and intended to focus entirely on Cruz, Rubio, and Trump.  At that point, as far as I could tell, any interest in the USG went to 0. Absolute 0.  They acted like I was paranoid to think there was anything strange about this: Why are you so concerned about this Russian graduate student, anyway? And why do you think she would be interesting to introduce to someone in our foreign policy circles?

By January, 2016 a thought was crossing my mind: They are being so indolent about reacting to Maria, it is almost like they are letting this develop on purpose. Since they learned Maria had checked off Hillary, it’s been almost as though they are just sitting back and letting this Can-O-Scandal emerge. As though someday, whenever they want to, they are going to grab it, shake it, pop it open, and spray it all over the Republicans …. That’s absurd. That’s crazy. This is America. Director Comey would not do that. President Obama would not do that.

Somewhere in March, 2016, as I recall, Maria began telling me of an up-and-coming meeting that was being arranged (she hoped) with Donald Trump, Jr. There was some convention of conservatives coming up in the South, and her Republican big-shot friends were making special arrangements for Don Jr. to be taken surreptitiously to meet her, she whispered excitedly. I knew the time and place. Obviously, that was something that should not happen, so I let the Men In Black know about it and proposed that I whisk Maria off to Bahamas for that weekend.

To my great surprise, they told me: Back off. We’re going to let it happen. I could not quite believe it. They explained: Sometimes when spies like Maria come here we just hang back and let them roam, watching who they make contact with. That did not sound right to me. Maybe it is true if someone was trying to steal our nuclear codes, and we need to learn how, I suppose. But if some foreign agent is here schmoozing around, and it is the act of the schmoozing around that creates the compromises and troubles… why let her do it?(2)

Around the end of March, 2016, Maria called me excitedly: there was an upcoming conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, just weeks away. It was major, being hosted by the Ministry of Finance (or something similarly grand). She had made arrangements for me to have a key speaking slot, on the subject of Bitcoin and Liberalism. I would speak, and then since President Putin was in St. Petersburg the same day (he may have been speaking at the same conference), it had been scheduled that I would have 60 minutes alone with President Putin (with Maria as translator).

As a Milton Friedman guy who can tell you the difference between PPS 23 and NSC 68, getting a chance to meet President Putin would have been a matter of great interest to me. Of course it would have been an honor. My sense is also that he is quite intellectual: if so, it would also have been a chance to ask him questions and perhaps engage in some Milton-esque mind-openers with him (and he with me). Maybe that “peace” football that we liberals like could have been inched forward a bit more.

Instead, the Men In Black came and told me Maria has been analyzed, she is just another grad student, but going to Russia to meet Putin is too dangerous, and we want you to break up with Maria. Get her out of your life.

So I did.* Roughly, by text. Curtly. Simply told her I was tired of being, “the other guy”. What was she going to say to that? It was unlike me not to be kinder. The truth was, however, right then I was Stage IV of two things at once. One of them had a 6 – 36 month prognosis absent successful intervention, of which the odds were 23%; the other had a 12 month prognosis absent surgery that might buy me 3 years. So it was a bad time. Thus, when I was told to cut her out of my life, I did. Just like that.*

After that, I was on the edge of an investigation regarding corruption of a federal official. It was the edge, yet I had a view to see what was going on. It ended unsatisfactorily, in precisely the way one would not want to see a corruption investigation end. But I walked away and forgot about it.*

*_ I am going to do something unusual, and place my asterisk not at the end, but in the middle of an essay. The same “herd of independent minds” who go into contortions whenever I use a metaphor like “Sith Lord” will likely turn blue over me putting an “*” in an unusual place, but I’ll dare it anyway. This would be a good time to tell you that where I used an “*’ above, I am leaving something key out. If you picked up that I went along with things in a way that does not seem completely plausible, pat yourself on the back. That explanation will be revealed a long way down the road, if ever.

So those six months of occasional trysts with Maria resolved themselves in a way that felt…. odd. Six months of trying to yenta to the US foreign policy establishment a Russian liberal intellectual who was chosen by Mikhail Kalashnikov to lead an organization he founded near his death, and who came with such an odd invitation for me, and spoke of a meeting with Don Jr.…. And the Men In Black dismissed her as just another grad student? It seemed sketchy. Call me madcap. And so did the corruption investigation of a federal official that followed, that also ended…. oddly.

Which is why some months later, around July 1, 2016, when the Men In Black showed up with an unusual (and for them, distressing and appalling) request… I was ready.  After emphasizing to me that this never happens in the United States, we are the good guys and we really do not play like the bad guys, never in their careers had they heard of the United States  asking a citizen to sleep with someone to get information….. they wanted to ask me to rekindle a romantic relationship with Maria Butina. I had every right to say “no” and no one would think worse of me. But Russia was to trying to subvert our election, and I was to get to the bottom of Maria Butina. “Gloves off.” The entire chain of command was being skipped. The request came from X and Y and Z. Was I willing?

I wish to emphasize this: the Men In Black are honorable men and women, and they were extremely discomfited by this request. There was no leering. They felt horrible. I think they wanted me to refuse it. They insisted that in their careers they heard never heard of such a request.

But, they said, this was coming from X, Y, and Z.

I told them , Yes I’ll do it.*

At this point, I will draw this chapter of my narrative to a close, and end with some suggestions for my dear fellow citizens to know:

  1. I do not maintain that Maria did nothing wrong. She…. Well, she traveled around and had a lot of dinners and backroom meetings with big-shots, mostly Republicans . She took pictures and put them on Facebook. And she did all this while taking suggestions from an official back in Moscow, and whether or not Torshin is in Putin’s camp, or really a liberal, Torshin is a Russian Senator, and the law says that taking direction from any official of another government (whether or not that official is acting alone or at direction of that nation’s chain of command) is illegal. Thus, if one wants to be a Philadelphia lawyer about it, Maria broke US law about being an unregistered foreign agent (as does half of Washington, incidentally). So it would untrue to say she did nothing wrong.
  2. However, it is also true that the USG knew she was having those meetings all along, generally before she had them. From me. They let it all happen, on purpose, I promise. They played dumb but they were just playing me for a fool (talk about a two-inch putt). Still, having the prosecutor stand up in court and speak of the grave damage Maria did to our national security by having those dinners seems a tad churlish, given that they knew about Maria from the day in July, 2015 she landed here, and generally knew about all those meetings before they happened, and just let them all happen, for three years. Remember, our court sentenced Maria to 18 months in a box about the size of your shower stall. Many nations consider anything over three months in solitary, “torture”. Maria did 10 months before I went in and talked to the DOJ (again, whether my doing so was a factor in her move to a nicer women’s facility in Florida, I am unsure, but I am grateful, and I hear from her lawyer that she spends all day outside). I recall when I was in college, and we would hear about some American college kid who did some bonehead kid thing in the USSR, or North Korea, and they’d ship him home 5 years later howling from a burlap sack. To some degree we’ve become those guys….. Who did that to us? How did it happen?
  3. Did the prosecutor and judge know the truth? According to some, the judge is a defendant’s judge, and in her career she has always forced prosecutors to compromise: this is her first case, they add, that she demanded the prosecutor up the penalty. Both prosecutor and judge were appointed in 2012-2016. Do your own research (and look into where the prosecutor was married) before deciding.
  4. The Men In Black are not the problem. They were hijacked from above. They are great Americans, just like the folks you see in military uniforms in airports. They really are. And there’s not a dud among them: they are crisp, white-shirted professionals like one rarely finds in corporate America anymore. They had some bad leadership. They were used, too, and I think I was in the room when they figured it out. It all came from the top. I was repeatedly told, These instructions are skipping the chain of command, and are coming personally from X, Y, and Z. That is why I do not even like using the “F” acronym about this. It hardly seems fair. These orders were not originating within their bureaucracy. And they seemed quite unhappy about it all.
  5. If it is true that my April 30, 2019 conversation with DOJ had anything to do with Maria’s May 9 move after 10 months in box in a SHU unit to a nice(r) women’s prison in Florida, I am grateful, and I am sure Maria is as well. Nothing federal happens in 9 days, normally. It seems reasonable for the DOJ to have decided to move her but keep her in custody until they sort this mess out.
  6. It is absolutely not true that I am taking credit for Mr. Durham’s investigation. I am sorry if it sounded that way in a TV interview. I meant only to be reciting dates. I was tired and unguarded and emotional (as I had just left my firm of 20 years). I should have explained then that I did not know if the dates connected.
  7. While it is true that Mr. Durham’s investigation was announced May 13, I had 0 contact other than on April 5 and 30. I have had no contact with Mr. Durham. Also, my sense is that Mr. Durham’s investigation started on its own before me. My sense, in fact, is that there are a number of whistleblowers like me within the federal system. Mine may well be an insignificant part of the whole tale. I hope so.
  8. If you are a sizable Hillary supporter in Hollywood, political espionage was conducted against you. Somebody back East wanted to know who you were and how you acted at her expensive fundraisers.
  9. Maria belongs back in Russia, a hero. Her running for president someday would be the best thing that could happen to Russia or the US. Imagine a Russian president who knew US history and the constitution better than our own did. And wouldn’t it be funny if that aspect of Russian Orthodoxy came true, that not through the suffering of all Russians, but of one Russian woman who came here wanting to find people who read Hayek, that something good happened?
  10. For example, perhaps this will wake us up from the delusion that has gripped our land. Vladimir Putin is living rent-free in your brain, America. No one is denying that he and his people performed mischief (though whether Maria was related to that or not, and if so, how wittingly, is another question). It was hybrid warfare, of which Putin is a master, and yes, he did it to us. Please know that the last time I met any of the Men In Black, back in March, 2017, they let me know that. Putin had sown enough charges into enough corners here so that whoever had won, Putin was going to be able to pull a trigger and cause an uproar here. He would get us all chasing our and each others’ tails, no matter who won. There’s even a name for it, an intelligence operation that seeds disorder and doubt and chaos, they said (but I don’t recall it). However, I would add, remember the grifter’s saying, “You cannot con an honest man.” What has gone wrong in our country that this would have worked as it did?
  11. Why am I coming forward? There are citizens who already ask me, “If you knew this, how could you have stayed silent so long?” There will be people with badges and guns who tell me that coming forward was a horrible (nay, felonious) thing for me to have done, that it hurt their work. I could argue it round or flat. All I can say is that I thought I had a few shards of a bigger puzzle, and I kept waiting for the authorities putting the puzzle together to come ask me for my shards. Oddly, none ever did. Then last summer, watching YouTube, I saw Congress rip some senior FBI officials apart, and what got public there fit so well with my shards I knew they weren’t shards anymore, they were big missing pieces. So I only got it figured out around this time last summer (and within days I went and downloaded the truth to two officials in Congress and the military, in case I got iced). But the US did not even have rule of law until we got a real Attorney General on February 14.  I’ve tried to do the right thing all along but I can second-guess myself, too. Some will still tell me that I should never have come forward…. Yet every mass killing we have, I think, Our country is being destroyed. No matter what the feds now know, staying silent for another day cannot possibly, not possibly, be the right to do.

Friends of both sides share their fears with me: The country seems to be sinking into something we have not experienced in 150 years. No one knows what to believe because no one has had the truth before. But the truth is there was political espionage conducted against Hillary and her supporters, along with Cruz, Rubio, and Trump. That’s not “a theory”: I was there. I saw it. If by December, 2015, those four were not all warned that in Moscow someone had decided to target them with Maria Butina, then someone was deliberately letting Maria smudge them up. And if some candidates were warned and some not, then that was a different kind of political espionage. Certainly, the same goes for Don Jr. and all the other people Maria was deliberately allowed to meet after July 2015: USG knew about Maria the day (after) she landed, and of every meeting she went on to have, before she had them. From me.

In addition, remember that you have not yet read that part concerning an investigation of a federal official, and what I did regarding Maria when they came back in July, 2016, asking me to rekindle our romance to get information. In brief: by October – December 2016 Maria wanted to leave DC, her boyfriend, her grad school, and come to Utah to live with me and finish her degree here. I was told not to let that happen, to keep her from leaving DC, so she would stay immersed doing…. well, all those things that two years later they charged her for doing because it damaged national security so much. That’s for starters.

And you may not hear more. Not from me, anyway. My purpose has been simply to re-orient the national conversation, because both sides are Stuck on Stupid.

The Democrats are correct: there was a basis to begin the Russian investigation. It was me, jumping up and down since July, 2015, saying that there was something Russian going on here, and it was either good (Russian liberals wanted a back-channel into the next administration), or bad (this was all an FSB operation). In fact, by January, 2016 it seemed so odd that they did not open an investigation, I was thinking, “Someday I bet there’s going to be a Senate panel investigating why they did not open an investigation into Russia coming here to meddle in our election, if only because of the real possibility of that being Maria’s game.” By March, 2016 it seemed crazy to me that they were apparently not paying attention.

Yet now I understand much better: they were not ignoring me on Maria and they did have an operation running. It just was not, “an investigation”. Instead, they were letting Maria smudge up political opponents so as to provide leverage and a Can-O-Scandal whenever they needed it.

So the Republicans are also correct: our federal law enforcement was weaponized to serve politics.

Yet what Republicans have missed is that it was was turned against Hillary Clinton, too. I am not saying that to make her a victim. I am telling the truth. But I am not revealing how they targeted her. Or why.

I am hoping that people will stop shooting each other and themselves over this. There is an answer on its way. America is not doomed to end like a Thomas Pynchon novel, with shifting interpretations endlessly hinting at connections that melt into vapor. What I told you about Maria Butina here is all iron-clad. What happened in that second period with Maria is worse. What happened regarding the corruption investigation of a federal official is far worse. Fortunately, there is, in fact, an investigation going on into all of these matters. I am but one of many people who are coming forward with these stories, which were pure political espionage. Don’t assume it was President Obama behind it, either: we are talking about the Deep State, remember (and for the record, I like Obama: I did not vote for him, I did not agree with 70% of what he did, but I thought he and his family brought dignity and class to the office, and I hope he was not involved).

So stop fighting. An answer is on its way. The gibberish is coming to an end. You are going to know the answers. Not from me. But from guys with badges and guns. At last.


1) There is a deeper and more honest explanation of how I ended up there. Perhaps 30-35 years ago I wandered around Asia and learned few things. I also studied development economics as a grad student at Stanford. From both, my big takeaways were: Liberalism is best, and “liberalism” includes rule of law. Without rule of law, economic development occurs in quicksand. And economic development is about raising the income of women, not men. That it. That’s my 20’s, boiled down. So when my company came under attack (we were on Reg SHO list for 998 days, as I recall), the act of piecing it together opened me up to the realization that (as I was saying publicly by 2005), “Somewhere in America there are grandmas are eating dogfood for dinner tonight so that some shmuck on Wall Street can drive a Porsche,” that we were eventually certain to face a settlement crisis , and that the parts of the US Government that one would think would care, did not react to the data like one would have expected…. That’s probably a fuller explanation of how I ended up with the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

2) Yet here’s a warning, that was passed to me by a lawyer years ago: trying to help feds can be like helping a tiger that has its paw caught in a trap. So you might just use their quite adequate website, I never plan on talking to feds again. If I do, I’ll likely be in an orange jumpsuit. But if I do, I want to help them work on the algorithms in that website. 

2) My understanding from a journalist named Seth Hettena is that in May, 2016, in Kentucky, at a convention of NRA, Maria was at a private dinner with a number of people, and among them was Don Jr. Perhaps briefly only. I do not know for sure, but this sounds like the evolution of what Maria had spoken about to me around March-April, 2015, just before we stopped seeing each other for the first time.

NB It has been about a decade since I blogged regularly. I am rusty. Years ago it often was my habit to post a blog then fiddle with it for days. I have done so with this. Consider this final as of 6 PM on Saturday, 8/31 (Mountain Time).

    1. Patrick

      I am the editor/publisher of Citizen Free Press.

      I have been covering the machinations of spygate for 2 years, and your role now for 10 days. I just linked to part 1 and part 2 at the VERY top of CFP. You will likely be getting a big traffic boost — perhaps 25,000 visitors from CFP in the next 24 hours.

      Thank you for sharing these details.

      I look forward to resolution.

      Any comment on Rand Paul’s claim that he was told by ‘unnamed officials’ that he was spied on as well?

      Lastly, are you aware of John Solomon’s reporting that he was visited late at night by “men in black” after his very first Hannity appearance on the subject of political surveillance (a few years ago)?

      1. Hi. Thank you for the link. I just wrote a couple terse replies on your site to keep people from getting too off-track. I didn’t really plan on doing much or any of that, but… It is just too painful watching people turning the pieces over and feeding them together the wrong way.

      2. Hi. Thank you for the link. I just wrote a couple terse replies on your site to keep people from getting too off-track. I didn’t really plan on doing much or any of that, but… It is just too painful watching people turning the pieces over and fitting them together the wrong way.

      1. I’m with you. Hillary indeed. That was to make it not look one sided. We know they did it all so she would be elected. Wow have you seen her in that tent dress? Imagine THAT as our commander in chief. Cringing for years while an inept old white communist woman runs our country into the ground is not what I want to do.

  1. Hey Patrick! Been trying to reach you — sent an email on Friday.

    BLUF: We need your help to protect freedom on the internet.

    Watch this video:

    Censorship on the web has become a VERY hot topic & Open Index Protocol is the technical solution (it creates an index for all public information). We need to speak with the government asap before they enact legislation about this issue & let them know it can be solved with technology.

    Also, we’re putting a deal together & want to integrate RVN into the spec — would be honored to speak with you about it.

    Thank you for being a brave patriot!

  2. Patrick has suggested in recent interviews that anyone who wants to help him could buy from

    I would like to add to that and propose a few simple suggestions that can help Patrick/Overstock/Medici and at the same time possibly help anyone who takes these actions to make it a mutually beneficial win/win situation for all involved:

    1)Buy from and give Overstock gift certificates to others

    2)Buy stock in Overstock.Ticker symbol is OSTK.After you buy stock place a GTC(Good Til Canceled) Limit Sell order for $100 a share or more to prevent your shares being loaned out to short sellers who might try to drive the stock price down.

    3)Download the TZERO Crypto App on your smartphone and buy Ravencoin.Overstock already owns a lot of Ravencoin and TZERO is majority owned by Overstock/Medici.

    4)Join Pro freedom social network where users earn crypto tokens for using the site.Overstock/Medici owns about 24% of MINDS

    If We The People unite behind basic principles like truth,freedom,goodwill,integrity,Non-Aggression Principle,Golden Rule,voluntarily helping each other and becoming an economic force it could turn into an awesome power.

    Posted below is a suggested Action Plan for immediate change to counter censorship,surveillance and corruption by tech/media/banking giants and politicians:

    1. The overlords at twitter have locked my account again for tweets supporting Patrick Byrne having the courage to speak truth to power.I never posted threats,curse words or graphic images,

      Very few people have the courage to speak truth to power as Patrick did on national TV.

      I’m so tired of the corrupt media/tech/finance giants and politicians but I will NEVER give up.

      Please share the link posted below via text/email/social media if you agree and care about people who have the courage to speak truth to power on national TV.Thank You.

      1. Twitter is throttling their own child. They deserve what they have coming.

        I just bought a sunlight reading light on

        1. Hi Rick.Yup,twitter censorship is outrageous.Just one more reason why I am dedicated to spreading an action plan encouraging people to unite behind basic principles like truth,freedom,integrity,goodwill,the Golden Rule and the Non-Aggression principle to become an economic force and hopefully change things for the better.

          I don’t think politicians will care about these principles until We The People show them We care about these principles.

          Have a good one.

  3. Wow – check out this article from August 2018 (a year ago) from John Solomon. It perfectly lines up with Patrick’s piece here – it’s clear that Solomon’s sources a year ago were well aware of all of this.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that so much political espionage was taking place & it always astounded me that nobody from the Justice Department simply told Trump or someone in his inner circle that they were worried about Russian influence in the campaign. Instead they simply sat back and let the scandal create itself.

    I’m saddened that the US Government could be corrupted in this way – I really hope the real facts come out so we can prevent this from happening again in 2020.

    1. Well someone (head of NSA at the time) did tell President Trump that his office was being wire tapped. Also, President Trump made a comment about the heating in the Oval Office and that the had to have the air conditioning redone because Obama did something to it that it didn’t work right. I’m just going to go ahead a guess that scumbag Obama had wiretaps installed in the Oval Office as well. Just a guess, of course.

  4. Much respect. Thank you for speaking out and being a fine and brave citizen. (It is a blast to hear you tell your story in such a colorful way.) We need more men like you.

  5. Mr. Byrne, I hope you are well rewarded by history for your bravery. My guy says Maria too.

    A few typos: “But Russia was to trying to subvert our election, and I was to get to the bottom of Maria Butina.” Also one in the next para.

    Best to you.

    1. Russia was never trying to subvert our election! It was Seth Rich and HRC &JohnP had him killed. This all works until he says HRC was attacked l . The

  6. Hello Patrick,

    you are a remarkable man and kind person who cares.

    You have done so much for the development of Bitcoin and establishing the foundation for the global digital economy with your ‘Blockchain Tech Stack for Civilization’.

    Remember your goal. Give this five years.

    Billions of the un-banked people will have access and opportunities in this decentralized global economy.
    This is your legacy!
    This is how you want to be remembered.
    This is how you can serve your country and the world.

    Please stay focused.

    You have done right, now stop all this and get back to work!



  7. They wouldn’t need to use resources to conduct espionage on Clinton. The KGB could just text her directly and she’d tell them whatever they needed, or she would assign some staffer to accomodate them.

  8. Every ship has a captain. Every captain at sea reports back to the shipowner.

    Your amazing story sounds like just the tip of the iceberg.

      1. Crickets… I did noticed no reply. Still reading. Have a good one! Guess the captain boat was docked.
        Do you know what Blissymbols are? One of the videos… I’ve watched too many. But it was you explaining a Chinese symbol at the start of a bit coin video. It reminded me of one of the first AAC communication symbols systems I learned was Blissymbols… There is video black and white … of him jumping from one symbol to the other. He really believed he had invented the universal language, YouTube fact checked it. Yeah, he did exist and his symbols remind me of the one you explained. He has a rough life. He gave all he had in creating it. He stays with me because he understood something I believe. He believe if he could create an universal language we could communicate better. There is merit, but the part I believe is the the way communicate or fail to communicate one of our biggest problems. I am a teacher. I graduated with honors from the University of Montevallo a little liberal arts college in a college town in a fly over state with many stains from history. I was supposed to be able to do that. So, the video of testing kids, all kids. I worked thirty years in the same base school. No, I did not choose to go higher. I get a high out working with the kids. It is Christmas morning at seven/ first kiss/ and just plain AWESOME to watch them grow and develop. I watch miracles everyday. Apparently I needed two real challenges this year. But we will figure it out. But I tell you that if I had stayed in the pigeon hole of the first IQ test. I wouldn’t have taught as many kids as I have. Sorry, I am kind of busy teaching subject/verb agreement (is/are, was/were, do/does, has/have, fact/opinion). I always have not had a nonverbal leave me not communicating. Some with AAC devices, but most talking. I really recent the equity argument right now because it is from PL99-454, but I digress. It is insulting to me it implies everyone needs the disability act, a 504 plan, or an IEP. Wow. I can show you some that is just not true. I can show you a supposed to be ID kid/adult yet Successful Global preacher from a forgotten county in a rural state. I have an Annapolis valedictorian, lawyers, bakery, welders, clerks, doctors, preachers, police officers, firemen, and teachers. (Funny story there, but I digress again, ADD too!) I also have murders, drug dealers, abusers of various types – some horrendous, one that was executed for his crime.I long since lost track of how many students were second generation students. I have sixth three generations students, I just had a seventh third generation kid born. It is kind of cool when your kids send you pictures of their kids the day they are born. I lost track of lost under thirty. I am on 59 before they were 18 years old. This is prison town. The first thirty years. Retired talked into suspending it for two years. I was tapped out of salary Abdul now tapped out of retirement, I make more retired a contracting hours. I have had years of 126 kids, their parents, their goals, schedules, and teachers names to remember. Cap mean nothing, We are hard to find to teach in schools. I get the ones that were in due process hearings, transitioning from El, and preschoolers. We had one day. ONE day to make packets and roll out the door last year. We tried online, way too many problems. We went in person with masks and provisions in twenty six days. Therapy in driveways was really not effective, but better than online with mine.if my senior stayed in the pinhole his IQ score was according to the test. He wouldn’t have two scholarships, have drawn a comic book .. I had to get him to write. He likes comic book he drew his own. Pretty good too, because that is what his scholarships are for actually. It doesn’t hurt his grades improved to As and one B. A lot of us dyslectic get missed until late. ASD and Dyslexia do not respect IQs … They span the IQ levels if the right test is used. There are some really bad tests out there. That has never seen the day he was what his said he was. All this to say, I am not indoctrinating any of the BS. I did almost lose my job because I didn’t like my middle school kids taught that republicans and democrats were like crips and bloods. I have seen one of those fights in the other counties school. It wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t having it again. The parents had my back, but they don’t teach that anymore. I really hate people throwing us all under the same bus. Most of the ones I know, they have been busting their backside. I pray something happens. Irony the local GOP chair must caught heck. His name is John Roberts. Yeah, well it is what it is. I want my kids to have a chance to use their voice in a free world. So, I will be meeting a John Roberts, not the John Roberts. Thank you for your efforts, I see AZ shredded ballots and fire. I see MI reinstated some charges. What a mess.

  9. Patrick,

    Thank you for sharing this. This is pretty enlightening information. What’s interesting is Edgar Cayce (Christian mystic) made a prediction that “the hope of the world will come through Russia guided by America” and the “freedom that each man will live for his fellow man.” (The Edgar Cayce Companion, p 439 & 440). Your post shows this seems to be the case.

    Wish you the best.

  10. Dr. Byrne,

    You are a talented writer, and thank you for your courage. Just to clarify, are you linking the mass shootings around the country to political divisiveness? Or, are you suggesting something else?

    I do not want to promote “conspiracy theories”, but at most of the shootings, there has been eyewitnesses that describe multiple gunman dressed in black whose actions suggest that they are well trained. It is almost like some of the shootings have been carried out by professional.

    If this is not what you are suggesting then please clarify because I have already seen “conspiracy theories” sprouting from the comments you have made linking the mass shootings to government corruption.

    Once again, thank you for your courage.


    1. I was linking the mass shootings to political divisiveness. Not to any theory of some conspiracy behind mass shootings.

      Patrick Byrne

  11. Relentless attacks always designed to make you appear as a charlatan, or conspiracy lunatic.

    It’s a good thing that you are laying low, Champ. Why hasn’t The Street made the public aware that a certain SEC director, is the wife of one of the Men in Black who you named as part of your tryst, and is spearheading the “investigation” into OSTK, tZero, etc. which remains ongoing since February, 2018? The timing remains uncanny.

    Come on Champ, get up off the mat and prove The Rule of Law does exists vs. Ari Onassis when he once said, “the rules are there are no rules,” except for certain powerful governments especially the United States of America who makes the rules up as they go along because of their power, influence and control of earthly resources including human potential under its guise.

    Die Welt ist ein Haufen Fick, ja?

  12. Hello Pat
    Like back in your cancer ordeal years, act as if you have read the last page of the book I title “Byrne vs. Feds”.
    Do me a favor, don’t call them Men in Black. Call them Men With No Face.
    Nous t’aimons depuis la Suisse.

      1. “Like back in your cancer ordeal years, act as if you have read the last page of the book…”

        I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, housebound for months, as I recover from an accident and surgery. Had no idea who you were until this FBI story hit the news. A little research revealed all your health trials and tribulations — I suddenly felt petty.

        The Epoch Times asked for suggestions from readers of inspiring people they could interview. I suggested you, Patrick. Not about current events or business but the impact of your health battles on your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual selves:

        How did you process what was happening?

        How did you face your own mortality?

        What decisions did you make about your future, and did they happen?

        Are you religious or do you have a regular spiritual practice?

        What advice would you give to people who feel helpless in the face of overwhelming obstacles of all kinds, not just health?

        Your answers would help a lot of people, so please keep them in the back of your mind in case a reporter from The Epoch Times calls!

        Patrick, you’re the right man in the right place at the right time. Thank you!

  13. Yo man, I just wanted to say that I support you and believe you. I have been researching since I saw you on the news. I hope more people come forward and let people know the truth.

  14. So what are We The People going to do about surveillance, censorship and corruption by media/tech/finance giants and politicians? I will keep posting this plan of action for immediate change as it is the best idea I can think of for now to combat this in a peaceful,productive manner.

    1)Cancel Cable TV (All channels should be available individually so consumers don’t have to give money to stations they don’t want to)

    2)Bank with small local banks & invest with small brokerages & insist your employer/pension fund do the same.

    3)Do Not donate money to politicians & consider boycotting companies that give them money or pay them for speeches.
    Some might decide to boycott Facebook,Twitter,Apple,Amazon and Google for censorship issues alone.

    4)Support a pardon for Julian Assange & Edward Snowden and other whistle blowers/truth tellers

    5)Join Pro freedom social network,where freedom of speech is respected & users earn crypto tokens.

    6)Use web browsers like Dissenter, Firefox or Brave rather than Chrome or Safari when you surf the web.
    Use search engines like DuckDuckGo rather than Google or Bing for web searches.
    Use an email service like ProtonMail rather than Gmail.
    Post videos on Bitchute and MINDS rather than Youtube.

    7)Use Linux operating systems like Linux Mint/Ubuntu/Debian or others on your computer rather than Windows or Mac.
    Keep your eyes open for alternatives to apple/android smartphones in the near future.

    8) Do NOT support the “War on Drugs” which causes more crime,death,murder,gang violence,incarcerations,enriching criminals while millions of people still use illegal drugs anyway.

    9) Support a new foreign policy where We The People worldwide unite behind and promote the principles of truth/freedom/goodwill/integrity/humility/Non-Aggression Principle/Golden Rule and focus on winning hearts and minds.

    10) Support a worldwide effort to voluntarily help others in the hope that it will win over more people to these principles.

    Please share this plan of action with others via text,email & social media if you agree.Here’s a link to share this message.Thank You

    All political parties are easily co-opted & corrupted.Things won’t change much until citizens unite behind truth/freedom/goodwill/integrity/humility/Non-Aggression Principle/Golden Rule.

    My goal in life is to unite people worldwide behind these principles and I hope many will join in this effort.Most politicians who claim to serve the public are really self servants/crony servants.

    Therefore,We the People must unite to make change.
    Social media/networking make this possible .

    1. Very few people have the courage to speak truth to power on public TV like Patrick Byrne did.(Link to his interview on Fox Business is in the reply below)

      With or without blockchain/crypto,it is up to We The People to stand up and unite behind basic principles like truth,freedom,goodwill,integrity,The Golden Rule and the Non-Aggression principle to make positive change.

      The corrupt politicians of both corrupt parties will not care about these principles until We The People show them We care about these principles.

      Most politicians who claim to be public servants are really self servants/crony servants. If We The People unite behind someone like Patrick for having the courage to speak truth to power on national TV,We can not only help him but also help ourselves in making a better world.

      Patrick Byrne has suggested in interviews that anyone who wants to help him could buy from Overstock.

      I would like to add to that and propose a few simple suggestions that can help Patrick/Overstock/Medici and at the same time possibly help anyone who takes these actions to make it a mutually beneficial win/win situation for all involved:

      1)Buy from Overstock and give Overstock gift certificates to others

      2)Buy stock in Overstock.Ticker symbol is OSTK. After you buy stock place a GTC(Good Til Canceled) Limit Sell order for $100 a share or more to prevent your shares being loaned out to short sellers who might try to drive the stock price down.

      3)Download the TZERO Crypto App on your smartphone and buy Ravencoin. Overstock already owns a lot of Ravencoin and TZERO is majority owned by Overstock/Medici.

      4)Join Pro freedom social network MINDS where freedom of speech is respected and users earn crypto tokens for using the site.Overstock/Medici owns about 24% of MINDS

      And please consider sharing the suggested Action Plan for immediate change posted above if you agree.That Action Plan is the best idea I can think of for now to bring immediate positive change to counter the censorship,surveillance and corruption by tech/media/banking giants, politicians and government actors.

      Anyone got a better idea?I’m listening….

      Thank You.

  15. Until you tell it all imho you are still being played. I admire your journey but I pray you will just tell all. No XYZ or hidden agenda. Today’s Comey news will only validate your truths.

  16. Fascinating, I hope to one day hear the full story. As usual, there are several comments that stink of partisanship, people believing what they want in order to confirm their naive biases, regardless of what was concluded by mr byrne, someone who has had an actual involvement in this story.

      1. I’m glad you were able to get some insurance before they “turned you to dust.”
        I doubt we (the people) will ever know the full truth, but I’d be willing to bet the population will be “disarmed” before it happens. Also, I hope it brings about a renewed liberty instead of achieving it’s ultimate goal.
        Best of luck, sir! Thank you for taking the risk for us!

          1. Hi Patrick,

            Thank you for sharing your truth. I’m encouraged by your words “You will learn the truth.”

            We will owe you a huge thank you for getting the ear of the current AG. Let’s hope AG Barr does not protect those who have acted criminally by glossing over these issues and telling us, as we’ve heard in the past, some minor rules were broken and employees will be sent off for retraining.

            I’m hoping our rule of law prevails. This story will have a happy ending when we see some of the bad apples get a taste of what Maria endured.

            Wishing you great health

  17. Rolling Stone is censoring my comment in support of Patrick on the recent Taibbi article about Patrick.This is the comment being censored:

    Very few people have the courage to speak truth to power on public TV like Patrick Byrne did.(Link to his interview on Fox )

    With or without blockchain/crypto,it is up to We The People to stand up and unite behind basic principles like truth,freedom,goodwill,integrity,The Golden Rule and the Non-Aggression principle to make positive change.

    The corrupt politicians of both corrupt parties will not care about these principles until We The People show them We care about these principles.

    Most politicians who claim to be public servants are really self servants/crony servants. If We The People unite behind someone like Patrick for having the courage to speak truth to power on national TV,We can not only help him but also help ourselves in making a better world.

    Patrick Byrne has suggested in interviews that anyone who wants to help him could buy from Overstock.

    I would like to add a few suggestions to that:

    1)Buy from Overstock and give Overstock gift certificates to others

    2)Buy stock in Overstock.Ticker symbol is OSTK. After you buy stock place a GTC(Good Til Canceled) Limit Sell order for $100 a share or more to prevent your shares being loaned out to short sellers who might try to drive the stock price down.

    3)Download the TZERO Crypto App on your smartphone and buy Ravencoin. Overstock already owns a lot of Ravencoin and TZERO is majority owned by Overstock/Medici.

    4)Join Pro freedom social network MINDS where freedom of speech is respected and users earn crypto tokens for using the site.Overstock/Medici owns about 24% of MINDS

  18. I find your writing and style both interesting. I also will continue to read your stories due to these new words brought to me by you in just one story. Indolent, Salacious,Tryse, Yenta, Non-plussed, and grifter. thank you!

  19. It looks like Z = John Brennan.He started this with Obama .We can only pray they get to wake up to Buba in a 6×6 room and a small cot.Thank you Mr. Byrne for being a good man and for trying to do what is right.

  20. “The Men In Black are not the problem. They were hijacked from above.”

    You’re overly kind. This garbage didn’t cut any ice in Nuremberg, and it doesn’t cut any ice with me and many people like me.

    1. Agreed. I read this part and thought, “Is this intended to be sarcasm?”
      “…when the Men In Black showed up with an unusual (and for them, distressing and appalling) request… After emphasizing to me that this never happens in the United States, we are the good guys and we really do not play like the bad guys, never in their careers had they heard of the United States asking a citizen to sleep with someone to get information…

  21. Ignorance is bliss but now my eyes are wide open. The best remedy for what’s ailing our country and the world is Truth. Thank you for sharing with us your truth.

    Note: you had a great Rabbi, if I was to choose a Rabbi, your high on my list!.

  22. Patrick,

    Now that you see what has happened with the 2020 election and the “men in black” are not investigating. What are your thoughts?

  23. Dude, you’re as big a fake as Trump is. You don’t know jack all about what went on. You mention no names to give any credibility, instead you only proffer accusations that it was Obama and Comey who were the Russians spies, lol. You make no mention of your contacts with Yana, Credico, Stone nor Assange. You don’t even mention any of your contacts other than Maria, who you were sleeping with in exchange for your giving her insider information. You forget, moron, that I know both Yana and Anna Kushchenko as well as their ring that still operates to this day in the pacific northwest. It’s not over. You’re going down.

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