Tale of sex, deception emerges about suspected Russian spy


Part of that effort allegedly involved leveraging her ties to the National Rifle Association, which she'd cultivated as founder of the Russian gun group The Right To Bear Arms, in order to gain access to conservative political circles and Republican lawmakers.

They also spoke on January 20, 2017 when Butina sent the official a photo of her near the US Capitol on the day Donald Trump was inaugurated as president.

An alleged Russian spy is said to have exchanged sex for a position within a special interest organisation.

The DOJ charges that from 2015 through at least February 2017 Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government - Alexander Torshin, the state secretary-deputy governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation who was sanctioned by the Treasury Department in April - and at times with "an American political operative " (identified as U.S. Person 1) to "jointly arrange introductions to U.S. persons having influence in American politics for the goal of advancing the agenda of the Russian Federation".

Robert Driscoll, an attorney for Butina, said she was not a Russian agent. In seeking her detention, prosecutors said that her "legal status in the United States is predicated on deception".

A judge on Wednesday ordered an accused Russian agent jailed until her trial after US prosecutors argued she has ties to Russian intelligence and could flee the United States.

The unidentified Russian official appears to match the description of Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia's central bank who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in April.

She also had contact information for people who investigators believe were employees of Russia's Federal Security Services, or FSB, the successor intelligence agency to the KGB.

Prosecutors also detailed texts between the official and Butina in which the official compares her with Anna Chapman and asks if fans want her autographs yet.

Butina and the official messaged each other directly on Twitter, prosecutors said.

Trump names European Union a global foe, raps media before Putin summit
Russian Federation is a foe in certain respects. "We have to start to set them right". "Well, I might", he said. He also argued that Trump is entering the summit with a stronger hand because of the indictments.

Robert Driscoll, an attorney for Butina, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The document continued, saying that even if Butina was only planning on leaving the immediate DC area, US Person 1 was her "sole real tie" to the US.

Torshin became a lifetime member of the NRA, and the duo regularly attended the gun lobby's annual meetings in the U.S.in recent years, according to their social media accounts.

Those steps, according to the document, included applying for a visa that would allow her to travel to and from the US; looking into getting a moving truck and purchasing moving boxes; making a wire transfer of $3,500 to an account in Russian Federation; packing up her belongings, and leaving a letter telling her landlord she and US Person 1 would end their lease by the end of July.

Butina used a United States citizen, who isn't named by prosecutors but matches the description of political operative Paul Erickson, to gain access to an extensive network of Americans in position to influence political activities in the country, prosecutors said.

"The concern that Butina poses a risk of flight is only heightened due to her connection to suspected Russian intelligence operatives", prosecutors wrote.

The charges against Butina were made public just hours after President Donald Trump appeared to accept assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country did not try to influence the 2016 election.

"There is an impression the Federal Bureau of Investigation is simply carrying out a clearly political order", she added, suggesting the timing of Butina's arrest was timed to coincide with the high-stakes summit.

Butina was likely in contact with the Russian Federal Security Service, known as FSB, throughout her time in the U.S., prosecutors said.