Quantcast
Connect with us

Prosecutors in talks with accused Russian agent Maria Butina to resolve case

Published

on

U.S. prosecutors and defense lawyers are in talks potentially to resolve a criminal case accusing gun-rights activist Maria Butina of acting as a Russian agent to infiltrate a pro-gun rights organization in the United States and influence U.S. foreign policy toward Russia.

The parties “continue to engage … in negotiations regarding a potential resolution of this matter,” they wrote in a joint filing on Friday, without elaborating on what a resolution may entail.

ADVERTISEMENT

The filing also asked a federal judge to delay a status hearing on the case scheduled for Dec. 6 and said that defense lawyers are poised to withdraw motions they filed on Thursday asking for the case to be dismissed if the judge agrees to delay the hearing.

Judge Tanya Chutkan in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the delay later on Friday, and scheduled a new hearing for Dec. 19.

Robert Driscoll, attorney for Butina and who is under a media gag order imposed by the judge in the case, declined to comment when asked whether his client may plead guilty in order to resolve the case.

Butina, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, has been held in a federal jail since her arrest over the summer.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former American University graduate student was charged in July with acting as an agent of the Russian government and conspiring to take actions on behalf of Russia.

Butina is accused of working with a Russian official and two U.S. citizens to try and infiltrate the National Rifle Association and influence American foreign policy toward Russia.

ADVERTISEMENT

Butina’s lawyers have previously identified the Russian official as Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who was hit with U.S. Treasury Department sanctions in April.

They also identified one of the two Americans mentioned in the criminal complaint as being Paul Erickson, a conservative U.S. political activist who was also dating Butina.

Neither Erickson nor Torshin have been accused of wrongdoing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Prosecutors have said they believe Butina is a flight risk and claimed she had been in contact with Russian intelligence operatives and kept contact information for several Russian agents.

However, they have also made some serious missteps in handling the case, including erroneously accusing Butina of offering sex in exchange for a position in a special interest group.

They later backed off the claim and earned scorn from the judge, who said the incorrect allegations were “notorious” and had damaged Butina’s reputation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Dan Grebler and Richard Chang

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump tweets out bonkers conspiracy theory that Google ‘manipulated’ up to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted out a bonkers conspiracy theory claiming that Google "manipulated" up to 16 million votes on behalf of former Democratic rival during the 2016 presidential election.

"Wow, Report Just Out!" the president wrote. "Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!"

Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s economic adviser doesn’t see a recession coming — but he said the same thing in 2008

Published

on

President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser insists there are no signs of a recession on the horizon -- but he's been staggeringly wrong before.

Larry Kudlow went on NBC's "Meet the Press" over the weekend to assure viewers that no economic downturn was coming, but the Washington Post's Aaron Blake pointed out that his track record for predictions was pitiful.

“Well, I’ll tell you what: I sure don’t see a recession,” Kudlow told host Chuck Todd. “So I think actually the second half, the economy’s going to be very good in 2019.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘A heat-seeking missile for Trump’s ass’: Mike Pompeo torn to shreds by ex-US officials in brutal New Yorker profile

Published

on

The New Yorker has published a profile of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week and it features some very unflattering quotes about him from former colleagues.

The piece discusses how Pompeo has gone from being a Trump critic during the 2016 presidential election to being one of his most loyal defenders. One former White House official tells the publication that "there will never be any daylight publicly between [Pompeo] and Trump" and described the secretary of state as "among the most sycophantic and obsequious people around Trump."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image