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Alleged Russian Operative Maria Butina Met with American Political Operatives in 2016


The Department of Justice on Monday unsealed a criminal complaint charging Maria Butina, 29, with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation while operating from within the United States without proper registration.

According to a criminal complaint, Butina entered the United States on a student visa. The complaint alleges she met with at least two American political operatives. The first operative allegedly put her in contact with a “gun rights organization” after a Moscow meeting in 2013. The DOJ complaint does not identify the organization, but others are saying it was the National Rifle Association. The second operative allegedly set her up with a series of “friendship and dialogue dinners” in both Washington, D.C. and New York City which involved “Russian nationals and U.S. persons having influence in American politics” in 2016 and 2017.

The DOJ says Butina’s goal was “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics . . . for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”

[This is a breaking news piece. It will be updated as we continue to read through the complaint.]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.