USA retailer founder quits after affair with spy Maria Butina

Overstock CEO resigns after admitting ties to Clinton probe Russian spy

Overstock CEO resigns after admitting ties to Clinton probe Russian spy

"We respect and understand Patrick's reasons for resigning and acknowledge his momentous achievement in taking Overstock from a startup twenty years ago to one of the nation's leading online retailers and positioning it at the forefront of the blockchain revolution", Allison Abraham, chair of Overstock's board of directors, said in a statement.

In a statement titled " CEO Comments on Deep State, Withholds Further Comment", Byrne referred to federal agents as the "Men in Black" and said he assisted in investigations related to the Clintons and Russian interference.

An FBI spokesperson declined to comment on the relationship, The Times reported.

[Breaking story, still developing] - Today CEO Patrick Byrne resigned, claiming the scandal he's about to expose will make him a target, and that he doesn't want them to "bring down the company with him". "The board and leadership will continue to build on Dr. Byrne's legacy while executing on our strategy with clear focus".

Byrne was well known for unusual behavior. Thursday morning, Byrne resigned, and his company's stock price rebounded.

But he has also cultivated a career as a provocateur.

More directly, Byrne cited the recent announcement of his controversial relationship with Maria Butina as the impetus for cutting ties with Overstock. In one instance Byrne was forced to pay a Vancouver businessman well over $US1 ($1.4) million in damages after the Supreme Court in British Columbia found Byrne had libelled him by repeatedly claiming the man was tied to al-Qaida and other criminal groups.

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A message to Overstock seeking additional comment was not immediately answered.

Wearing a red "Make America Grateful Again" hat - a nod to the Grateful Dead and the "flag-waving hippie" Jerry Garcia, he said - Byrne ran through his relationship with a cast of characters painted as Russian Federation probe villains by those on the right.

In the weird 16-minute interview, Byrne said he came forward with the allegations because he feels responsible for the country's gun control issues.

Byrne has also claimed in a New York Times article that he was romantically involved with Maria Butina, a Russian operative who infiltrated American politics. "The FBI doesn't work that way", Comey added.

Comey told CNN Byrne's claims were "ridiculous" and that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn't work that way".

As the CrimeRussia has written, Butina was detained in 2018. Prosecutors alleged she attempted to meet members of presidential campaigns in the runup to the 2016 election, and had worked alongside the National Rifle Association (NRA) to support Second Amendment causes.

Butina's attorney, Robert Driscoll, said of Byrne's resignation, "I wish him well".

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