Moscow to Continue Supporting Butina After She Pleaded Guilty - Lavrov

Dec 16, 2018, 02:11
Moscow to Continue Supporting Butina After She Pleaded Guilty - Lavrov

She was indicted on July 17 on a conspiracy charge and on charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent. While there are no strict sentencing guidelines for her specific crime, her lawyer estimated that she will spend at least six months in prison. A status hearing has been set for February 12. They said they had "resolved" the case. Butina's case, however, is separate from special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

Butina's arrest was a result of a Justice Department investigation disconnected from that of special counsel Robert Mueller. Erickson, a USA citizen, has reportedly received a "target letter" from prosecutors and may be charged for acting as a foreign agent.

According to CNN, the prosecutor in this case told the court that "Butina sought to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over USA politics". Prosecutors even wrote that "all available evidence indicates that Butina had interest in a graduate school education".

Butina's time in prison has included solitary confinement.

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Butina appeared in court Thursday wearing a green jail uniform, her red hair in a long braid running down her back. They alleged that she infiltrated US organizations and cultivated relationships to advance a Russian agenda without registering as a foreign agent.

National security expert Malcolm Nance told MSNBC on Thursday that alleged Russian spy Maria Butina will gladly throw her network under the bus with her guilty plea, since the rewards are so great. Person One helped advise Butina on which American politicians she should target for meetings, and her plan was carried out on behalf of the Russian official, the statement said. "He has never done anything to hurt our country and never would".

She faces up to five years behind bars, followed by deportation.

The charge of conspiracy opens the possibility that other people could also be charged in the case. Trump has denied collusion with Moscow. In 2015 she attended a Trump campaign event in Las Vegas, asking the presidential candidate about his views on USA sanctions against Russian Federation.

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Butina traveled to the U.S.in 2015 and entered the USA on a student visa in 2016 to study at American University in Washington. Inside her home, they found notes referring to a potential job offer from the FSB, according to the documents.

Although Torshin later met Donald Trump Jr.at an event during an NRA convention, Butina and her colleagues were not able to broker a conference between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian Federation has denied interfering in American politics.

On July 18, after Butina had been arrested, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs asserted that her arrest was created to undermine the "positive results" of President Trump's meeting with Putin at the Helsinki Summit.

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