Butina Indicted For Conspiracy Against US, Failing To Register As Russian Agent

Butina Indicted For Conspiracy Against US, Failing To Register As Russian Agent

In a new court filing, the Federal Bureau of Investigation alleges that Butina during her time in the United States cohabitated with an unidentified 56-year-old man as part of her cover while conducting her work in the United States.

"Such unfounded claims against our compatriot simply look odd", Zakharova told reporters, adding that Butina had openly resided in the United States "for a long time" and did not hide from anyone.

The Justice Department said Butina had broken United States law by not disclosing to authorities that she was acting on behalf of the Russian government.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors said they had uncovered evidence that Butina was living with "U.S. Person 1", though she appeared to "treat that relationship as simply a necessary aspect of her activities", according to court documents. Erickson is a close friend and business partner of Butina's who counseled her on securing meetings with other high-level officials in conservative politics, according to the affidavit and previous reporting by The Daily Beast and Rolling Stone.

Her lawyer has called the allegations overblown and has denied that Butina is a Russian agent.

Butina, who founded a pro-gun Russian advocacy group called Right to Bear Arms, has not been charged with espionage or with being a member of a Russian intelligence service.

"For example, on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than US Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization", it continued.

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In October 2016, "U.S. Person 1" told Butina in an email that he had "been involved in securing a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin and key "Political Party 1" leaders through, of all conduits, the "Gun Rights Organization.'" Helson concluded that this email showed the American's "involvement in Butina's efforts to establish a 'back channel" communication for representatives of the Government of Russian Federation".

Butina was charged with one count of engaging in conspiracy against the USA and another of failing to register as an agent of Russian Federation.

They also spoke on January 20, 2017 when Butina sent the official a photo of her near the U.S. Capitol on the day Donald Trump was inaugurated as president. Her ultimate goal was to make American politics more sympathetic to Russian interests, according to court filings.

Torshin has been described as a mentor to Butina, and both have been actively involved with the NRA in recent years.

The NRA, which has previously been connected to Butina, has not commented on the charges. Though the indictment does not name the gun organization or the Russian government official who Butina worked under, corroborating details identify them as the National Rifle Association and former Russian Central Bank official Alexander Torshin, respectively.

They said she had applied for a B1/B2 visa, which would allow her to travel to and from the United States, and, on July 14, they followed her and the 56-year-old to a U-Haul facility where they inquired about renting a moving truck and purchased moving boxes.

Her attorney, Robert Driscoll, has said she is not a Russian agent and poses no flight risk, after she was arrested on Sunday without warning.

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