In an exclusive interview with WTOP, the attorney for Russian gun-rights enthusiast Maria Butina says she could be released from prison as early as mid-April.
For decades, the U.S. has been a target for hostile foreign intelligence agencies in Russia and China. But now, officials are concerned that those adversaries are joining forces to chip away at American global dominance.
A Russian woman accused of being a secret agent admitted Thursday that she conspired to infiltrate the American gun-rights movement to gather intelligence on conservative political groups as Donald Trump rose to power.
Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina, 30, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and cooperate with federal, state and local authorities in any ongoing investigations.
Lawyers for Maria Butina and federal prosecutors wrote in the joint court filing that they “remain optimistic about a pretrial resolution” of her case.
Lawyers for Maria Butina and prosecutors in Washington made the disclosure in a joint court filing , the first acknowledgement that the 30-year-old is potentially working on a plea deal or some other conclusion to her case.
A year before federal prosecutors accused Maria Butina of operating as a secret agent for the Russian government, she was a graduate student at American University working on a sensitive project involving cybersecurity.
Maria Butina, the alleged Russian agent who stands accused of developing a covert influence operation in the United States, boasted of connections to high-ranking Kremlin officials and was even paid to pursue access to Russian President Vladimir Putin for a television show, ABC News has learned.
Federal prosecutors concede they misinterpreted text messages when they alleged that a Russian woman accused of working as a secret agent offered to trade sex for access, according to a Justice Department court filing.
Maria Butina, who is facing charges of working as a Russian agent in the U.S., was spirited from a D.C. detention facility to an Alexandria, Virginia, jail after grumbling from the Russian government about her treatment in custody.
American University declined to comment about its graduate, but others in D.C. are talking about Maria Butina’s activities and her curious and sometimes contradictory behavior.
A 29-year-old gun-rights activist suspected of being a covert Russian agent was likely in contact with Kremlin operatives while living in the United States, prosecutors said Wednesday in court papers that also accused her of using sex and deception to forge influential connections.
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