Accused Russian agent to cooperate with U.S.
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/11/18, 10:36 am
A woman accused of working as a Russian spy in the United States wants to change her plea of “not guilty” and likely will cooperate with prosecutors, court filings indicated Monday. Federal prosecutors accuse Maria Butina, 30, of cozying up to National Rifle Association leaders and the U.S. politicians they supported in an attempt to establish a back channel for cooperation between the Kremlin and Republicans in Washington, D.C. She came to the United States on a student visa in 2016 under the auspices of studying U.S.-Russia relations and was arrested in July on charges of acting as a covert agent of a foreign government. Her case is separate from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but her cooperation with investigators could lead to a deeper understanding of the Kremlin’s efforts to influence U.S. politics. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday.
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