Accused Russian 'agent' to plead guilty

Accused Russian spy Maria Butina appears to have reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors

Accused Russian spy Maria Butina appears to have reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors

Maria Butina was arrested on a charges of conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian government. Instead, she and Torshin briefly interacted with Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, at the event, according to documents turned over to Congress.

Prosecutors say they have "resolved" a case against a woman accused of being a secret agent for the Russian government, a sign that she likely has taken a plea deal.

As we noted, the defense has argued that Butina is innocent, so a change of plea was a clear indication that we would soon see a guilty plea, at a minimum. The potential plea change was revealed in a court filing Monday.

Dana Verkouteren via ASSOCIATED PRESS This courtroom sketch depicts Maria Butina, in orange suit, during a hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C., in July.

Prosecutors have accused her of working with a Russian official and two us citizens to try to infiltrate the powerful NRA lobby group that has close ties to Republican politicians including President Donald Trump, and influence Washington's policy toward Moscow.

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Until now, Butina, 30, maintained her innocence and insisted she was simply a foreign student interested in bettering relations between the USA and Russian Federation. They alleged that her work in the U.S. was directed by a former Russian lawmaker who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for his alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. She was arrested two days after the Justice Department separately indicted Russian military intelligence for hacking the Democratic Party, and her case became public the same day President Donald Trump met with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, and declined to endorse United States intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Moreover, the prosecutors in her case have previously made mistakes, including erroneously accusing Butina of offering sex in exchange for a position in a special interest group.

Butina was then involved with an unsuccessful effort to organize a meeting between Torshin and Trump at an NRA convention in May 2016. Erickson has not been charged in the investigation, but ABC notes that federal prosecutors have notified him that he is the subject of an ongoing investigation.

The Government's complaint against Butina did not explicitly mention Mr Trump's campaign.

Maria Butina in Moscow. She regularly posted photos on social media that showed her posing with guns, touting Russian policies and schmoozing with notable politicians. Erickson and Butina met during a trip of the NRA leaders to Moscow in 2013 and that the two have been involved in an romantic relationship, her lawyer said.

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