The Justice Department charges Russian national Mariia Butina (Maria Butina), 29, with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States. This is the perfect clapback to Donald Trump throwing his country under a bus to please murderous tyrant Vladimir Putin.
Butina is accused of infiltrating an American political organization at the direction of a senior Kremlin official.
The arrest of Russian National Maria Butina shows at least two things:
1. The Russians used the @NRA to influence US elections. Some questions are did NRA officials know and what did the influence consist of?
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 16, 2018
Full statement from the Justice Department on Mariia Butina’s arrest:
According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, 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. This Russian official was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control in April 2018.
The court filings detail the Russian official’s and Butina’s efforts for Butina to act as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation. The filings also describe certain actions taken by Butina to further this effort during multiple visits from Russia and, later, when she entered and resided in the United States on a student visa. The filings allege that she undertook her activities without officially disclosing the fact that she was acting as an agent of Russian government, as required by law.
The charges in criminal complaints are merely allegations and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Read DOJ Charges Against Mariia Butina: