USA arrests Russian woman for acting as Moscow agent

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For Butina, the now-alleged Russian spy, the NRA gathering was a veritable buffet of conservative networking.

Butina tried to arrange a series of meetings between Russian nationals and American political operatives in 2016 and 2017.

The affidavit also alleges that on October 4, 2016, U.S. Person 1 emailed an acquaintance and claimed to be involved in "securing a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin" and an unnamed political party.

Yaroslava Shashkova, one of Maria Butina's academic supervisors when she was doing her post-graduate work, last contacted her former student in 2017.

The Russian gun activist who was arrested in Washington, DC is not an agent of the Kremlin and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is misusing the law to charge her as such, the attorney for Maria Butina said.

Trump also sarcastically quipped that Putin was a "good friend" of then-President Barack Obama.

The government says she was acting as a foreign agent without registering.

"If donor disclosure to the IRS is eliminated, no one will know whether a 501 (c)(4) group has received foreign funds and is illegally spending them in our elections, other than the foreign donors and 501 (c)(4) groups involved", the letter warned. "And for reasons that we can discuss in person or on the phone, the Kremlin believes that the only possibility of a true re-set in this relationship would be with a new Republican White House". "Our move here is very important".

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Driscoll said during the hearing that Butina had recently earned a master's degree in global relations from American University.

In 2015, Butina met privately with a political candidate. She and Torshin also attended a series of NRA events in the United States starting in 2014.

In a video posted on YouTube from the FreedomFest, a conservative political event in Las Vegas in July 2015, Butina is seen asking then-candidate Trump if he would continue to support sanctions against Russian Federation if he were elected president. Butina requested $125,000 to participate in "all upcoming major conferences" tied to the political party. The sources told Mak she made these claims shortly after the 2016 election that she attended with Erickson and Trump campaign aides.

Some of Butina's work in the U.S. revolved around the National Prayer Breakfasts in 2016 and 2017. Putin has no respect for President Obama. The Prayer Breakfast organizer responded that he would provide 10 seats at the event.

Butina, who studied at American University in Washington, is a founder of the pro-gun Russian advocacy group, Right to Bear Arms. She'll be detained for three days until her next court appearance. Torshin and Butina feared the end of the Obama administration in 2016, and targeted Republicans, according to court filings.

Kosachev chalked up the indictment and its timing, hours after Trump-Putin summit in Finland, to an anti-Russian conspiracy by U.S. foreign policy hawks and intelligence agencies.

"Moscow seeks to create wedges that reduce trust and confidence in democratic processes, degrade democratisation efforts, weaken US partnerships with European allies, undermine Western sanctions, encourage anti-U.S. political views, and counter efforts to bring Ukraine and other former Soviet states into European institutions". According to Butina's attorney, the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at her Washington, D.C., apartment in April, and the affidavit states that agents searched her electronic devices, including her laptop and iPhone. And it is not about winning today's fight (although we are striving for it) but to win the entire battle.

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