MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow explained on Wednesday how accused Russian spy Maria Butina could possibly be released as part of a “spy swap.”
Butina was arrested by the FBI in July and charged with being an unregistered spy.
There had been court hearing scheduled in her case for tomorrow, but Maddow reported that it had been delayed to give the parties more time to resolve the case without a trial.
“Obviously they have arrested and indicted her and put her in jail and plan to put her on trial,” Maddow noted. “It’s possible that the resolution of the case will be a plea deal, where she pleads guilty to something in exchange for leniency in other ways.”
“Some observers have even speculated that Maria Butina might, possibly, have her case resolved as part of a spy swap of some kind with the Russian government,” she continued.
“And the Kremlin has taken a keen interest in the Maria Butina case, they have done a lot of publicity around it and advocacy around it,” she noted. “They have been very, very active, both publicly advocating and advocating with the U.S. government on her behalf.”
“I don’t know what they are offering the U.S. government on her behalf. I don’t know if the U.S. government is in the market for any sort of spy swap with the Russians at the moment,” she continued. “But it not impossible to imagine that her case may be resolved with something dramatic like that.”
As Maddow was on air, the judge scheduled a Thursday morning telephone conference call in the matter.