Judge orders alleged Russian agent Maria Butina jailed

No grounds for arrest of suspected Russian agent in U.S., Russia's foreign ministry says

Accused Russian agent traded sex for influence, prosecutors say

Butina's involvement in USA political affairs has also extended beyond the pro-gun camp.

Prosecutors also alleged that she used a personal relationship with an unnamed American political operative, with whom she was living, "as simply a necessary aspect" of her covert activities on behalf of Russian Federation.

USA prosecutors leave a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., after a judge ordered accused Russian agent Maria Butina held in jail.

"She's not a flight risk", Robert Neil Driscoll said at the hearing.

Butina is also well-connected to wealthy businessmen in the Russian oligarchy, according to prosecutors who allege her Twitter messages, chat logs, and emails refer to a known Russian businessman with deep ties to Putin's administration and who was listed in Forbes as having a net worth of US$1.2 billion.

Judge orders accused Russian agent Maria Butina jailed pending trial
Judge orders accused Russian agent Maria Butina jailed pending trial

A Russian gun rights enthusiast, who built a network of powerful Republican contacts under the direction of a Kremlin power-broker, was ordered held without bond Wednesday after Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agents accused her of conspiring to infiltrate the United States government.

The text included: "You have upstaged Anna Chapman". According to the documents she had terminated her apartment lease, packed her boxes, visited a U-Haul truck rental facility and transferred $3,500 to an account in Russian Federation.

"For example, on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than US Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization", it continued. Butina responded, "Good teachers!"

The unidentified Russian official appears to match the description of Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia's central bank who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in April.

Displaying a flair with handguns and automatic rifles, she was a VIP at the NRA, arguably the most powerful conservative lobby in the United States.

Amazon Prime Day Starts Today, Which Means You Need Amazon Prime
The majority of these offers are for its own products like Fire TV boxes or Alexa-enabled smart speakers, but the deals are hot. Additionally, Prime members who live near a Whole Foods may want to take advantage of a new offer this year, Dengler said.

Her lawyer, Robert Driscoll, called the allegations overblown and has denied that Butina is a Russian agent.

Court documents and other records suggest she and Torshin developed plans to "infiltrate" United States political society as early as 2011, when Torshin met then-NRA president David Keene and Butina launched a mirror Russian gun rights group, "The Right to Bear Arms".

Butina's arrest came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation feared she was preparing to leave the country.

Butina had been living in Washington since 2016, after coming to the US on a student visa to study at American University. She was arrested on Sunday without warning.

She befriended the Republican operative, unnamed in the indictment but widely identified as Paul Erickson, 56, who opened doors to NRA and Republican circles.

FIFA President Pushes for 48 Teams for 2022 Qatar World Cup
Infantino says Qatar can insist on keeping a 32-team format, though he is "pretty sure that all options will be on the table". It has been alleged that to construct facilities designed for the 2022 tournament have been constructed using slave labour.

Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson granted the government's request, saying the Justice Department had shown "preponderance of evidence" that the Russian citizen was a flight risk.

But she had been in the United States multiple times before that, and even questioned then-candidate Donald Trump in July 2015 at a public forum, asking him what his policies would be toward Russian Federation.

She has been accused of working with a high-powered Russian official and two unnamed American citizens, trying to infiltrate a pro-gun rights organisation in the United States and trying to influence USA foreign policy toward Russia.

Zakharova added that the Russian authorities were looking to secure access to her.

"This happened with the obvious task of minimising the positive effect" of this week's Helsinki summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Manchester City are furious about Chelsea's first major signing of the summer
Antonio Conte has released a statement thanking Chelsea's staff for their "hard work and support" during his time at the club. Sarri finds himself coming into the most turbulent period at Chelsea since Roman Abramovich's takeover in 2003.

Latest News