Accused Russian Spy Maria Butina Reaches Possible Plea Deal

Elias Hubbard
December 10, 2018

The information was included in a filing in the case against Maria Butina. Who is she and what have been her interaction with the United States?

Maria Butina, the alleged Russian agent who federal prosecutors say infiltrated the National Rifle Association (NRA) in order to gain access to Donald Trump's presidential campaign and members of the Republican Party, is preparing to enter a guilty plea-MSNBC reports.

"The Defendant Maria Butina, by counsel, and the government, by and through its attorney, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, respectfully file this joint motion to set a change of plea the Court's earliest convenience", the filing, reviewed by Fox News, stated.

Butina, who was arrested in July, was charged with conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russian Federation. After Monday's court filing, it remained unclear whether Butina would change her plea to "guilty" for one or both charges, which carry combined prison sentences of up to 15 years.

The 30-year-old Butina was accused of to seeking to infiltrate and influence Republican politics, and the party's posture towards Russian Federation, through her activism promoting gun rights. Russian authorities have criticized the USA government for arresting Butina, insisting that the charges against her are groundless.

Butina's lawyers previously identified the Russian official with whom she was accused of working as Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia's central bank who was hit with U.S. Treasury Department sanctions in April.

The charges against Butina were brought by federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., and her case is unrelated to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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