Sheriff David Clarke was paid $6,000 by jailed Russian activist Maria Butina.
An organisation founded by Butina, an alleged Russian agent currently being held without bond, covered Clarke’s expenses as part of his trip to Russia with the NRA in 2015, Fox 6 in Milwaukee reported on Tuesday. (Cockburn has contacted Sheriff Clarke’s office for a comment – but not received one yet.) On Wednesday, Butina was deemed a flight risk and sent to jail until her trial.
Today Clarke is slated to emcee an event with Vice President Mike Pence in Tennessee and another one Tuesday in Montana. Earlier this month, Pence and Clarke appeared together in Kansas City.
The disclosure forms required for his office of Sheriff of Milwaukee County reveal that he received $6,000 for meals, lodging and transportation from an organisation called The Right to Bear Arms, founded by Butina in 2011.
Butina allegedly worked at the behest of Alexander Torshin, a Russian politician who worked to forge close ties with the NRA throughout 2016. Torshin met Donald Trump, Jr. in Kentucky at an NRA event in May 2016. McClatchy reported in January that the FBI was investigating the NRA trip to Moscow.
Butina is notably not charged with being a spy, but for conspiring to lobby on behalf of a foreign government. Prosecutors allege that Butina at least once exchanged sex for access with an as-yet-unnamed party.
There’s no evidence that Clarke and Butina had any sexual relationship – but photographs of two have begun to circulate on Twitter, including one with Butina holding Clarke’s arm.