National Security

Prosecutors seek 18-month sentence for Russian agent Maria Butina

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Prosecutors are seeking an 18-month sentence for Russian agent Maria Butina, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States.

Prosecutors argued in a court filing late Friday that Butina gave Russia information of “immense” value ahead of the 2016 presidential election, according to CNBC.  

“She undeniably worked in the United States to gather that information, provide it, and attempt to establish herself as a backchannel of communication,” prosecutors said.

“Had she successfully done so, the risks to the United States would have included harm to this country’s political processes, internal government dealings, and U.S. foreign policy interests,“ they added. 

The pre-sentencing memo also contained a note written by Butina, which she reportedly planned to send to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that explained the importance of going to meetings of a gun rights organization. 

Butina also discussed the importance of connecting with a presidential campaign that was not named in the memo, according to CNBC. 

Butina’s defense team also submitted a filing Friday in which they asked that she be sentenced to time served. They attempted to portray her as someone whose bright future was ruined because of her “amateur diplomacy efforts,” according to CNN

She is expected to be sentenced on April 26. The conspiracy charge she pleaded guilty to has a maximum sentence of five years. In her plea agreement, she admitted to cultivating good relationships with conservative U.S. organizations for Russia, particularly with the support of former Russian politician Alexander Torshin.


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