Trump Told Woman Charged As Kremlin Agent He'd Drop Russia Sanctions

Trump Told Woman Charged As Kremlin Agent He'd Drop Russia Sanctions

A 29-year-old woman active in Washington, D.C., politics has been arrested and charged with being a Russian agent.

The following year, that US person emailed an acquaintance, saying "I've been involved in securing a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin" and leaders of an unnamed political party through an unnamed gun rights organization. "We learned about this from the media, and naturally the family [is monitoring the situation]", her sister Marina Butina said, adding that the family has not been in contact with Maria since her arrest.

Mueller didn't file the charge against Butina, but court papers show her activities revolved around American politics during the 2016 campaign and included efforts to use contacts with the National Rifle Association to develop relationships with United States politicians and gather intelligence for Russian Federation. She allegedly tried to advance Russian interests "by developing relationships with USA persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in US politics".

The Department of Justice also noted the Russian official was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control in April 2018.

A source said previous year that Torshin and Butina were eager for Mr. Trump to travel to Russian Federation to meet with Putin.

According to the complaint, Butina reported back to a top government official in Moscow, who is not named in the court papers.

Butina was ordered held pending a hearing set for Wednesday, the Justice Department said. It also claims that she "founded a gun rights organization in Russia [The Right to Bear Arms] that grew to over 10,000 members".

Butina recently graduated with a master's degree in internaitonal relations from the American University.

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Butina has had interactions with several people with South Dakota ties. "No doubt", the Russian official responded.

Torshin had been an "election observer" in Tennessee in 2012 as part of a riposte by the Russian government to criticisms about its elections by the United States. Writes to me that D. Trump (member of NRA) is really for cooperation with Russian Federation.

The Justice Department's complaint also referenced an email written by Butina in March 2015 which discussed the prospect of a major political party winning the 2016 election which was "traditionally associated with negative and aggressive foreign policy" toward Russian Federation.

The meeting did not happen, but Butina and Torshin did have brief interaction with Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, at the event.

Americans are growing increasingly concerned about foreign efforts to influence USA elections-even though the US government has meddled in other nations' elections for decades-as Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate additional claims of Russian interference and collusion with the Trump campaign or administration.

CNN has previously reported that during the presidential campaign, Torshin worked with his protégé, Butina, as well as other associates, to try to arrange back-channel communications between Putin and then-candidate Trump.

Their primary avenue of influence appeared to be the National Rifle Association, according to CNN reporting and court filings, though the organization is not explicitly referred to by name in the legal documents.

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