Butina describes her United States prison conditions as acceptable - father

FreedomFest  via Reuters  FILEMaria Butina shown in this file

FreedomFest via Reuters FILEMaria Butina shown in this file

Driscoll argued that Butina should be freed to home detention, noting that the activities for which she is charged were not covert and involved no collection of sensitive information.

"The only evidence the government relied on for its explosive claim was an excerpt from an innocuous three-year-old text exchange sent in Russian Federation between Ms. Butina and DK, her longtime friend, assistant, and public relations man for The Right to Bear Arms gun rights group that she founded", the defense filing reads.

Prosecutors have pointed to extensive text conversations Butina had with Torshin while in the U.S., including when they discussed other accused Russian spies, as well as her communications with a Russian spy agency and a dinner in Washington she spent with a Russian diplomat suspected of working in intelligence.

Regarding the person she may have had sex with, her attorneys describe him only with the initials "DK", and call him her longtime friend and public relations person for her gun rights group The Right to Bear Arms.

"Butina replied facetiously: "'Sex. Not a nickel to my name.' DK responded: 'Ugh.

Later, the employee wrote that sex with Butina did not interest him.

Butina was close friends with the man's wife and child, and the exchange was "nothing more than a long-running joke between old friends", Driscoll wrote, adding that their banter included no promise of a job in exchange for the sex.

Prosecutors charge that Butina has been serving as an unregistered Russian agent.

Torshin is "actually just a friend", Butina's lawyers wrote, adding that she should be released from jail as the government's case supposedly rests on circumstantial evidence.

"In sum, you appear to have violated the local rule repeatedly", Liu wrote.

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Driscoll's Friday filing asked the judge to reconsider.

Butina was ordered held without bond pending trial by U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson of Washington, who cited risks that Butina might flee or resume her alleged unlawful activities, as well as the government's significant evidence against her. She's been detained since her arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month.

In a new court filing, the lawyer for accused Russian agent Maria Butina claims that the government overstated its claim that Butina offered "sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization" as part of a bid to gain access and make contacts in American political circles.

He says the text message exchange began after DK took Butina's auto for inspection in Russian Federation.

At a court hearing last month, prosecutor Erik Kenerson told the court that "the evidence is overwhelming the defendant was here on behalf of the government of Russia.to carry out a covert influence campaign".

"Mr. Erickson" refers to the person the government argues Butina had "cohabited and been involved in a personal relationship" with "for the sole objective of developing her alleged influence operation".

The government said that matters because it suggested the Russian woman had few ties to the US and that she would be more likely to flee if she were to be released from detention.

The two friends then exchanged cat pictures.

Butina was indicted last month for operating as an unregistered foreign agent, with prosecutors arguing she deliberately cultivated relationships with the National Rifle Association and conservative politicians in order to set up "back channel communications".

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