Quantcast
Connect with us

US judge delays sentencing of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina

Published

on

A federal judge on Tuesday agreed to delay the sentencing of Maria Butina, who has admitted to working as a Russian agent to infiltrate a gun rights group and make inroads with U.S. conservative activists and Republicans, at the request of a prosecutor who cited her ongoing cooperation.

Butina, 30, has been in custody since her arrest in July. She pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Russia.

ADVERTISEMENT

Robert Driscoll, Butina’s attorney, told U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in court on Tuesday his client is ready to be sentenced.

“From our perspective, we’re ready to go,” Driscoll said.

Erik Kenerson, the lead prosecutor, said the prosecution still needs Butina’s cooperation in its ongoing probe, but did not elaborate.

Chutkan said she is sensitive to the defense’s concerns, but agreed to postpone sentencing and hold a status hearing on March 28.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Ms. Butina has been detained for a substantial portion of what she would likely face,” Chutkan said. But, the judge added that “her cooperation continues to be needed by the government.”

The group Butina admitted to trying to infiltrate is the National Rifle Association, which has close ties to Republicans including President Donald Trump.

The prosecution has indicated the involvement of others in the Butina case.

ADVERTISEMENT

Paul Erickson, a conservative U.S. political activist with deep Republican ties who was romantically linked to Butina, was referred in court records in the case as “Person 1.” Those records stated that “Person 1” helped advise Butina on which American politicians she should target for meetings.

Erickson is well-known in Republican circles and previously served as a senior official in Pat Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign.

Federal prosecutors in South Dakota this month said Erickson was indicted on 11 counts of wire fraud and money laundering in charges unrelated to those brought against Butina. But Erickson’s indictment did appear to make a reference to Butina when it said he made a payment of $8,000 to an “M.B.” in June 2015 and another payment to “M.B.” in March 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT

The indictment said Erickson paid about $20,000 in June 2017 to American University in Washington, the school from which Butina obtained her master’s degree.

William Hurd, an attorney for Erickson, declined to comment when asked about the prosecution’s request to delay sentencing for Butina.

Alexander Torshin, who was a deputy governor of Russia’s central bank and employed Butina as a translator and assistant, has been identified by her lawyers as a Russian official cited in court records. Torshin was hit with U.S. Treasury Department sanctions in April, but has not been charged in this case.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Will Dunham

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

Man stabbed to death at California university — he was also targeted with ‘incendiary device’

Published

on

Police are searching for a murder suspect after a fatal stabbing on the first day of school at a California university.

"A retired Cal State Fullerton administrator was stabbed to death Monday morning on the first day of the university’s academic year, and authorities later found an explosive device nearby," the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

"Fullerton police responded to reports of an assault with a deadly weapon at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot near the College Park building. Police found the victim, a man in his late 50s, inside a silver Infiniti, bleeding from his head with multiple stab wounds to his body. Police found an 'incendiary device' near the vehicle that showed the suspect targeted the victim," the newspaper reported.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump is panicking because ‘his reality show sees cancellation on the horizon’: Columnist

Published

on

On Monday, Eugene Robinson wrote a Washington Post op-ed suggesting President Donald Trump is self-destructing because "his reality show sees cancellation on the horizon."

"Evidence suggests that Trump is melting down. Again. And for good reason," wrote Robinson. "Fears of a global recession, greatly exacerbated by Trump's erratic and self-destructive trade policies, have sent financial markets tumbling. A sharp downturn would close off one of the principal lines of attack the president was hoping to use against his Democratic opponent. He tried it out at a rally in New Hampshire last week: 'You have no choice but to vote for me,' he told the crowd, 'because your 401(k)'s down the tubes, everything's gonna be down the tubes' if he loses. 'So whether you love me or hate me, you gotta vote for me.'"

Continue Reading
 

CNN

‘Wackadoodle’ Trump is ‘seriously worried about losing’: CNN legal analyst

Published

on

On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin discussed President Donald Trump's bizarre claim that Google "manipulated" millions of votes for Hillary Clinton.

"And there is another conspiracy theory, Jeffrey, that he's on to," said anchor Brianna Keilar. "He took to Twitter today to accuse Google of manipulating votes. He said '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!"

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