The Convicted Russian Spy Maria In A Series Of Photos With Prominent Republicans

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Convicted Russian Spy Maria Butina was an active networker with Republicans, the NRA, and Evangelicals.

Russian national Maria Butina, sometimes spelled Mariia, is accused of working as a spy by infiltrating American political organizations, including the National Rifle Association.

Maria Butina lived with a man several years her senior, former political provocateur Paul Erickson from South Dakota. He was a business partner, and they lived in a home in Washington. Erickson virtually disappeared from the state’s political scene in recent years,  though he has ties to prominent conservatives.

Wednesday, a federal magistrate ordered Butina, 29, held without bond, pending trial, where she will face two felony charges.

Maria Butina, a young woman with red hair, poses with a large gun,

The American University graduate supported gun rights and President Donald Trump.

Here’s what else we know about the redheaded woman accused of being Russian spy:

What is she charged with?

Prosecutors say Butina engaged in a years-long campaign as a covert agent for the Kremlin in an attempt to “advance the interests of her home country.”

“The defendant’s covert influence campaign involved substantial planning, international coordination and preparation,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing. “The plan for Butina also required, and she demonstrated, a willingness to use deceit in a visa application to move to the United States and bring the plan to fruition.”

Butina pleaded not guilty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday claimed none of his intelligence chiefs knows “anything about” alleged Russian spy Maria Butina.

Citing FBI surveillance conducted during the past week, prosecutors said Butina had access to thousands of dollars and “an intention to move money out of the U.S.”

She allegedly offered seχ

for influence

In their court filing Wednesday, prosecutors alleged Butina was in touch with Russian intelligence operatives and once offered seχ to someone in exchange for a position with an unnamed special interest group.

She knew how to make the hearts of gun advocates beat faster.

‘Extreme flight risk’

Magistrate Deborah Robinson sided with federal prosecutors who argued that Butina represented an “extreme” risk of flight from the country. Federal agents said that at the time of Butina’s arrest last weekend, her apartment was packed with boxes “consistent with a move.” Butina’s attorney, Robert Driscoll, said the packing boxes were in preparation for a move to South Dakota – not back to Russia – where Driscoll said she intended to live with her boyfriend.

She founded a gun rights group

Butina founded a gun rights group named Right to Bear Arms. She is an activist with the NRA. She frequently posted about guns on social media and promoted the right to carry weapons in interviews. Saul Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, told The Washington Post she was “like a novelty” because running a gun rights group in Russia appeared radical.

   
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