USA arrests, accuses woman of acting as Russian agent

Butina founded a gun-rights group in Russia according to US media

Butina founded a gun-rights group in Russia according to US media

Check back for more updates. The statement also says that Butina has cooperated with the government, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and was the subject of a search warrant in April. She also offered to testify before the office of special counsel, "which has not expressed interest", the attorney added. The Russian Central Bank declined to comment.

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

A federal judge in Washington ordered her jailed until a hearing set for Wednesday, according to a statement from the Justice Department and Jessie Liu, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. While the official was not named in the indictment, it appears to be Torshin.

Russian Council of the Federation Deputy Chief Alexander Torshin is seen during a meeting on April, 3, 2012, in Maloyaroslavets, Russia.

Prosecutions under the USA foreign-agent law picked up in the a year ago amid growing concern in Washington about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. She was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian government.

On her Facebook page, Butina is featured prominently photographed alongside a number of American politicians and other high-profile figures, including Wisconsin Governor and former Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker and David Keene, the former president of the NRA.




She also suggested in September 2016 to two Americans that they should work to build "an advisers team on Russian Federation for a new president".

McClatchy previously reported that the FBI was investigating Russian attempts to funnel money to the Trump presidential campaign through the NRA, a claim the gun rights group has denied. The meeting never took place, but Torshin and Butina did cross paths with Donald Trump Jr.at a dinner on the sidelines of the event. She was in contact with an organizer of the 2017 event, who met with her and the Russian official in Moscow, according to communications cited in the affidavit.

The word "infiltration" has been one the least-understood lanes of the "active measures" waged by the Russians since before 2016 - along with others that included social media agitation, clandestine outreach by intelligence operatives and cyberattacks. She reportedly has been an advocate of gun rights in Russian Federation and was a "special guest" at an NRA meeting in 2014.

Butina's lawyer, Robert Neil Driscoll, accused the Justice Department of trying to make mundane actions seem like "nefarious acts".

But the changed circumstances four years later prompted Torshin and Butina to conclude she should continue to lie low: "Only incognito!" she wrote, according to court documents. "She is a former journalist, so she keeps up her connections in Russian Federation".

"If you would be elected as the president, what will be your foreign politics, especially in the relationships with my country?"

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