Did Spy Ring Femme Fatale Anna Chapman Try To Seduce A Cabinet Member?

You may all recall the June 2010 bust of an odd Russian spy ring here in the United States that included a rather attractive Russian redhead named Anna Chapman. After the group of spies was returned to Russia in a prisoner swap, Chapman began to pursue a career in modeling and considered a run for Russia’s Duma. Now, there’s a story that Federal authorities decided to bust the spy ring when they did because Chapman was getting a little too close to someone very close to the President:

Another revelation in the series is the real reason why the FBI swooped on Russian spy Anna Chapman in 2010. Top officials feared the glamorous Russian agent wanted to seduce one of US President Barack Obama’s inner circle. Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI’s head of counterintelligence, reveals how she got “closer and closer to higher and higher ranking leadership… she got close enough to disturb us”.

The fear that Chapman would compromise a senior US official in a “honey trap” was a key reason for the arrest and deportation of the Russian spy ring of 10 people, of which she was a part, in 2010. “We were becoming very concerned,” he says. “They were getting close enough to a sitting US cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue.” Mr Figliuzzi refuses to name the individual who was being targeted.

There’s no evidence that Chapman ever got close to any such individual, or that anything compromise was revealed. Nonetheless, let the baseless speculation begin (if only because it leads to so many intriguing possibilities).

H/T Allahpundit

FILED UNDER: Intelligence, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    I remember when I went to work for the DIA in the late 60s they warned us over and over about the beautiful spies that would attempt to seduce us for secrets. I kept waiting but it never happened!

  2. @Ron Beasley:

    As Allahpundit said in the post I hat-tipped, I’d hand her the nuclear launch codes. I mean, dude, have you seen her picture?

  3. Chad S says:

    During the War of Northern Aggression, one of the top senators on the US joint war committee(who basically ran the operational aspects of the union military effort) was banging a confederate spy posing as a DC hooker.

  4. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Chad S: War of Northern Aggression? Treason in the Defense of Slavery, you mean.

  5. John Burgess says:

    State had such rigorous reporting requirements for every time you met or talked to someone from particular countries that it was almost worthwhile to run away from them on sight. The countries involved weren’t always the ones you’d expect, either.

  6. ernieyeball says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy: That’s what you call it when you start something and then you lose.

  7. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @ernieyeball: Did either the the CSA or USA have a “Stand Your Ground” statute?

  8. merl says:

    @Chad S: hahaha I haven’t heard that in years. That’s how my family referred to the Civil War.

  9. Tylerh says:

    My money is on Rahm.

    first, there are only 21 possible suspects:

    Sitting US cabinet Secretaries in June, 2010.

    Clinton (state)
    Geithner (treasury)
    Gates (defense)
    Holder (Attorney General)
    Salazar (Interior)
    Vilsack (Agriculture)
    Locke (Commerce)
    Solis (Labor)
    Sebelius (HHS)
    Donovan (HUD)
    LaHood (Transportation)
    Shinseki (Veterans Affairs)
    Napolitano (Homeland Security)

    sitting cabinet Officers in summer 2010:
    Biden (VP)
    Emanuel( chief of Staff)
    Orzag (OMB)
    Jackson (EPA)
    Kirk (Trade rep)
    Rice (UN)
    Romer (CEA)
    MIlls (SBA)

    Second, take the women off the list (Clinton, Solis, Sebelius, Napolitano Jackson, Mills, Rice, Romer).

    I would be also take off the list anyone who had a high profile security clearance for more than 10 years because the Russians had already been targeting any such person for so ong Ms Chapman would be downright pedestrian. I think that puts Gates and Shinseki in the clear. I would also take Biden of the list, because such a link would a bigger bombshell than this.

    Working from the other direction, anyone of the remaining 10 who unexpectedly left the Cabinet in fall or winter of 2010 would be a prime Candidate, suggesting two possible Prime Suspects:

    Rahm Emanuel and Peter Orzag.

    The timing of the announcement is fortuitous for Obama: this two-year old story appeared in the foreign press on the day Mitt is going to secure for Republican nomination. Why wasn’t this story held for a slow news day when Obama was likely to be leading to be on the front page?. It’s almost like someone with a lot press contacts planned it this way.

    Say, a Chief of Staff with a high media profile who surprised a lot of people by suddenly developing an interest in being Mayor Chicago in Fall, 2010, even though he didn’t have a Chicago residence and had built his career around being a consumate _Washington_ insider.

    Rahm, you randy devil you.

    Another is that someone is angling for Biden’s VP slot. But in that case, I think Joe would have announced his heart condition had gotten worse or that his grandson’s Pink Eye was really bad and stepped aside for the 2012 campaign.

  10. Kolohe says:


    “Second, take the women off the list ”

    Besides not being very open minded, that rather takes the fun out of it doesn’t it?

  11. Kolohe says:

    and it looks like now it was Clinton but not Chapman.

  12. danimal says:

    @Tylerh: Using your logic, I’d go with Orzag. I remember that he was considered both a nerdy economist and quite the ladies man.