USA asks court to detain alleged Russian agent pending trial

USA asks court to detain alleged Russian agent pending trial

Robert Driscoll, an attorney for Butina, said in a statement to the Washington Post that she "intends to defend her rights vigorously and looks forward to clearing her name".

Law enforcement officials then became concerned that Butina appeared to be planning to leave the Washington area and chose to seek charges and make an arrest, according to people familiar with the case.

Prosecutor Erik Kenerson told the court that "the evidence is overwhelming the defendant was here on behalf of the government of carry out a covert influence campaign".

Butina became well-known around Washington because of her odd self-promotion as a Russian gun rights activist. "We do not have an extradition treaty with Russian Federation".

"Based on this and other evidence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that the defendant was likely in contact with the FSB throughout her stay in the United States", the filing said.

Isikoff, author of "Russian Roulette", said Butina has been "on my radar screen for quite some time".

The wider geopolitical context involving the United States and Russian Federation shouldn't have any bearing on Butina's specific situation, he argued.

She lived with the 56-year-old man, but appeared to "treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities", the U.S. said.

The charges against Butina were obtained on Saturday, court records show, the day after the Justice Department revealed an indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly conspiring to hack Democratic politicians in 2016.

Butina maintained a contact list of individuals identified as employees of the Russian intelligence agency FSB, according to court papers. A university official confirmed that she's been enrolled at the American University School of International Service since fall 2016.

Moscow believes that Washington's allegations against Russian national Maria Butina are groundless and it will do everything possible to protect her interests, according to Zakharova. "She poses with toy pistols while you are being published with real ones".

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

Ms Chapman was exchanged as part of a spy swap in 2010.

It's not clear whether Butina was taken up on that alleged proposition. "What can I say!"

The Russian official is believed to be Alexander Torshin, deputy head of the Russian Central Bank and a target of US sanctions since April.

Court documents and other records suggest she and Torshin developed plans to "infiltrate" USA political society as early as 2011, when Torshin met then-NRA president David Keene and Butina launched a mirror Russian gun rights group, "The Right to Bear Arms".

In documents seized by the FBI, Butina "complained about living with U.S. Person 1", they wrote.

Butina has been acquainted with Erickson since at least 2013, and they continued to work closely together through their ties to the National Rifle Association.

Erickson cited the "sometimes worldwide reach" of the NRA as part of a pitch he made in 2016 to members of Donald Trump's campaign.

Erickson wrote that Russian Federation was "quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the United States".

"This happened with the obvious task of minimizing the positive effect", of the Trump-Putin meeting, said foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Erickson is a close friend and business partner of Butina's who counseled her on securing meetings with other high-level officials in conservative politics, according to the affidavit and previous reporting by The Daily Beast and Rolling Stone.

Some saw her as a mere student. Butina had boxes in her apartment the following day when the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived.

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