Maria Butina's lawyers claim prosecutors allow BBC reporters to break the same law she did
Unregistered Russian agent Maria Butina (Instagram)

In a strange interview with MSNBC's Kasie Hunt, convicted spy Maria Butina's lawyers explained that the laws she was charged and convicted of are broken daily, but never prosecuted.

The two lawyers appeared Sunday to explain the details about the prosecutors calling Butina "not a spy in the traditional sense."

"I mean, this’s kind of a smear," Robert Driscoll said. "They acknowledge she wasn’t an intelligence agent; she didn’t work for Russian intelligence. To say you’re not a spy in a traditional sense is like me calling [Butina's other lawyer] 'not a felon in a traditional sense.' It is not a compliment. You know what I mean? It’s conceding he is not a felon and kind of suggesting there’s something there."

While Butina took the plea agreement with prosecutors, because the law, in this case, is so vague anyone could be indicted, he explained.

"The law — this is something I wish the people would look at beyond this case," Driscoll said. "The law is incredibly vague, and all she has to do is act as an agent while she is here. And [it] doesn’t say if you have to do anything in particular. So, for example, I noticed an earlier guest Katty Kay is a foreign national. [She's] in this country [and] works at the direction of a foreign official. Because the head of the BBC is a foreign official. The only thing preventing her from being prosecuting is prosecutorial discretion."

Hunt cut in to note that Kay is a journalist reporting on government issues, not trying to influence politics or policy.

"It's not apples to apples," Hunt said.

Prosecutors told Butina's lawyers that nothing she did was unlawful, other than failing to register as a foreign agent.

Watch the bizarre discussion below: