Accused Russian spy attended 2014 NRA meeting in Indianapolis

Posted July 18, 2018

Court papers do not name the Kremlin official.

In 2013, Bolton, who is now Trump's National Security Advisor with a top security clearance, worked with Butina, who is now alleged to be a Russian spy, to create a video promoting the right to bear arms in Russia.

Butina will have some high-powered assistance mounting her defense. The Post reported Butina accompanied Erickson to Trump's inauguration.

She declined to comment on the family's future moves regarding the detention.

Her lawyer, Robert Driscoll, denied Butina is a Russian agent and has been co-operating with the government.

Butina voluntarily testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee for 8 hours "months ago", Driscoll said, and produced "thousands of documents" to the lawmakers.

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"American society is broken in relation to Russian Federation", she said in a Twitter direct message to Torshin in 2016.

According to Driscoll, the FBI's allegations are "overblown".

The charges against Butina were filed by prosecutors from the Justice Department's national security division - not special counsel Robert Mueller's office - and offer yet another glimpse into the wide variety of methods Moscow employed to try to influence the USA political climate ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Before the summit, Trump took to Twitter to blast Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation, calling it a "rigged witch hunt".

Redhead Maria Butina, 29, a gun nut with close ties to the controversial National Rifle Association - a pro-gun lobby in the USA - has been apprehended on suspicion of being a Kremlin spy.

The indictment alleges Butina and Torshin, "planned to advance Moscow's long-term strategic objectives in the United States, in part, by establishing relationships with American political organizations, including the GUN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION". The goal was to influence Republican Party to adopt views more favorable to Russian Federation.

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Maria Butina is now in the United States.

She arranged dinners in Washington and New York City and tried to develop relationships with American politicians in order to establish "back channel" lines of communication to "penetrate the USA national decision-making apparatus to advance the agenda of the Russian Federation", the complaint said.

But Facebook posts show her posing in pictures with the National Rifle Association (NRA).

According to some reports, Maria Butina worked as an assistant to the deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank, Alexander Torshin.

Butina also says she met with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at his presidential campaign launch event in 2015, according to a report by Mother Jones magazine earlier this year. On May 12, Butina she was celebrating, donning a royal blue cap and gown as she accepted her diploma from American University, earning a degree in International Relations.

Oddly, Butina also happened to get candidate Trump to promise to lift sanctions on Russian Federation, during a question-and-answer session at Freedom Fest 2015.

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