Mariia Butina: Woman arrested in DC for working on behalf of Russian Federation

Recent AU graduate charged with acting as Russian agent in U.S

Recent AU graduate charged with acting as Russian agent in U.S

Butina, a former Siberian furniture owner, is also a board member and founder of the Russian gun rights group, "The Right to Bear Arms", The Washington Post reported.

Butina was charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of Russian Federation "by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organisations having influence in American politics", the statement said.

Court papers do not name the Kremlin official. Butina is charged with "conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United Stated without prior notification to the Attorney General", the department said. "These lines could be used by the Russian Federation to penetrate the US national decision-making apparatus to advance the agenda of the Russian Federation", the Justice Department wrote. Butina wrote that members of the delegation had been "handpicked" by a senior Russian official and were "VERY influential in Russia". Butina is a former assistant of Alexander Torshin - a top official at Russia's central bank, close ally of Putin, and alleged friend of the Russian mob.

"The filings also describe certain actions taken by Butina to further this effort during multiple visits from Russian Federation and, later, when she entered and resided in the United States on a student visa", a news release from the department said.

On Oct. 4, 2016, an unnamed USA person sent an email to Butina that stated, "U$3 nrelated to specific presidential campaigns, I've been involved in securing a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin and key POLITICAL PARTY 1 leaders through, of all conduits, the [GUN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION]". Prosecutors also note that the official has since been sanctioned by the US.

Papa John’s to remove founder’s image from ads
Schnatter also stepped down from the university's board of trustees, the Lexington Herald Leader reported. The hits keep coming for Papa John's.

The unsealing of the charges against Butina came within hours of a stunning press conference in which President Donald Trump refused to say he accepted the assessment of the USA intelligence community over Putin's denials that Russian meddled in the election.

Among the relationships allegedly forged by Butina were ties with the NRA, which is a strong ally of the Republican Party.

Torshin and Butina unsuccessfully tried to secure a meeting with President Trump before the 2016 election, a source familiar with the matter told CBS News last November.

During the hearing, the Post reported, Driscoll said Butina's home was searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in April and that she had testified for eight hours before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session months ago.

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