Russian woman charged with infiltrating American political organizations

17 Juillet, 2018, 02:13 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • U.S. President Donald Trump left and Russian President Vladimir Putin right during their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki Finland Monday

A press release from the Department of Justice stated that "from as early as 2015 and continuing through at least February 2017, Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank".

The government claims that between 2015 and February 2017 Butina "worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government", who was sanctioned by the U.S. in April 2018.

Court papers do not name the Kremlin official.

Butina has been an outspoken activist for gun rights in Russian Federation, however. A 2017 article, published on an AU website for the Carmel Institute of Russian History & Culture, described Butina as a master's student in the School of International Service.

Butina, 29, had been living in Washington, D.C. She is heavily involved in the gun rights movement as founder of Russia's Right to Bear Arms group, and a "life member" of the National Rifle Association.

"Maria Butina is not an agent of the Russian Federation".

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Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee sought to interview Butina during their investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 campaign, but were not able to convince their Republican counterparts to seek interviews with her and several people connected to her. The Russian official "said it was very good".

Torshin and Butina unsuccessfully tried to secure a meeting with President Trump before the 2016 election, a source familiar with the matter told CBS News last November. Writes to me that D. Trump (member of NRA) is really for cooperation with Russian Federation. The FBI is reportedly investigating Torshin for illegally funneling money to the NRA so as to aid Trump's 2016 campaign. However, this meeting never happened. Prosecutors also note that the official has since been sanctioned by the US.

Butina is believed to have met with USA politicians and political candidates as part of the influence operation, according to the Justice Department.

Maria Butina had developed close ties with the Republican party and had become an advocate for gun rights, according to United States media reports.

According to court papers, Butina met with United States politicians and candidates, attended events sponsored by special interest groups - including two National Prayer Breakfast events - and organized Russian-American "friendship and dialogue" dinners in Washington with the goal of "reporting back to Moscow" what she had learned. On other occasions, in one of her graduate classes, she repeated this claim.

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