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.
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) July 16, 2018
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.]