Prosecutor Says Gun Rights Advocate Maria Butina Had Ties To Russian Intelligence Agency

Posted In: News Date:Jul 18th, 2018

Maria Butina, the Russian woman who was arrested earlier this week on charges of being a foreign agent, had ties and was in contact with Russian intelligence operatives while in the United States, according to federal prosecutors in a new court filing on Wednesday.

The Washington Post detailed how prosecutors said Butina had links to wealthy businessmen close to the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin and had plans to flee the U.S.

Butina, 29, was arrested on Sunday before federal authorities indicted her on Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government and failing to register as an agent of a foreign government.

The alleged Russian agent is scheduled to have a detention hearing on Wednesday on whether to release her before trial but prosecutors filed their motion detailing why she should be held without bond.

She first entered the U.S. on a student visa in August 2016, which her lawyer said was to earn a master's degree from American University in International relations.

But Butina had visited the U.S. multiple times previously and even questioned Donald Trump during a public forum in 2015 concerning his policies on Russia.