Alleged Russian agent Butina appears to have reached plea deal


Alleged Russian spy Mariia Butina appears to have reached a plea deal with prosecutors, according to court documents released on Monday.

Butina was arrested by the FBI in July for allegedly operating as a Russian agent without notifying U.S. authorities. Details of any plea deal were not immediately available, but the case adds to a mounting list of contacts by agents and possible influencers from Russia with members of President Donald Trump’s campaign circle.

Federal prosecutors accused Butina of using guns rights activism to gain access to American conservative circles and influence them in Russia’s favor, particularly within the National Rifle Association.

Butina also made inroads with other prominent conservative figures, including Paul Erickson and George O’Neill, The New York Times reported this summer. Butina apparently engaged in a romantic relationship with Erickson, a high-profile Republican operative with strong ties to the NRA who has also been caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine


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