On Monday, the DOJ announced the arrest of Russian National Mariia Butina, age 29, for “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”
Mariia Butina was arrested on Sunday; she is being labeled as the central figure in the NRA-Trump-Russia scandal by the fake news media.
Market Watch reported:
The Justice Department charged a Russian national with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification. Mariia Butina, 29, who lives in Washington, D.C., was arrested on Sunday and charged with developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation. Butina ran a Russian pro-gun group that was investigated over whether it helped funnel money to President Donald Trump via the National Rifle Association, according to a McClatchy report.
On July 2nd, it was reported dirty cop Robert Mueller likely acquired the NRA’s tax filings as his never ending witch hunt continues to expand.
For months, the National Rifle Association has had a stock answer to queries about an investigation into whether Russian money was funneled to the gun rights group to aid Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The NRA, which spent $30 million-plus backing Trump’s bid, has heard nothing from the FBI or any other law enforcement agency, spokesman Andrew Arulanandam reiterated in an email the other day.
Legal experts, though, say there’s an easy explanation for that. They say it would be routine for Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, who are looking at the NRA’s funding as part of a broader inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, to secretly gain access to the NRA’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service.
On the returns, the group was required to identify its so-called “dark money” donors — companies and wealthy individuals who financed $21 million of the group’s publicly disclosed pro-Trump spending, as well as its multimillion-dollar efforts to heighten voter turnout. The NRA’s nonprofit status allows it to shield those donors’ names from the public, but not the IRS.
The press release from the DOJ reveals the accusations against Mariia Butina date back several years when Obama was president:
Butina’s lawyer, Robert Driscoll released a statement claiming Mariia Butina is “not an agent of the Russian Federation.”
“She is a Russian national in the United States on a student visa who recently graduated from American University in Washington, D.C.”
Driscoll said she “has been cooperating with various government entities for months regarding public allegations related to her contacts with various American and Russian individuals,” testified for eight hours before the Senate Intelligence Committee months ago and provided “thousands of documents.”
Despite Mariia Butina’s cooperation with the FBI and repeated offers to answer any questions from the DOJ or Mueller’s team, the feds arrested her on Sunday “without prior notice to counsel.”
FBI Special Agent Kevil Helson says Butina’s goal was to infiltrate American groups and report back to the Kremlin.
FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson wrote that the goal was to “exploit personal connections with U.S. persons having influence in American politics in an effort to advance the interests of the Russian Federation.”
Helson added, “I believe that Butina and the Russian official took these steps in order to infiltrate those groups and advance the interests of the Russian Federation.”
According to court papers, Butina met with U.S. politicians and candidates, attended events sponsored by special interest groups — including two National Prayer Breakfast events — and organized Russian-American “friendship and dialogue” dinners in Washington with the goal of “reporting back to Moscow” what she had learned.
The affidavit also stated she started reaching out to NRA members and other American gun enthusiasts in 2013, on several occasions hosting NRA executives and gun activists in Moscow, including one delegation that included former Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.
Screenshot of partial statement from Butina’s lawyer via Fox News producer, Jake Gibson:
Will our FBI and Mueller be hunting down every person of Russian descent in this country until they can successfully weave a Trump-Russia collusion story?