July 16, 2018


US Indicts Russian Gun Activist Who Interacted with NRA and the Trump Campaign (DAN FRIEDMAN AND DENISE CLIFTON, JUL. 16, 2018, Mother Jones)

Federal prosecutors have charged Maria Butina, a Russia gun-rights activist with a long history of interactions with the National Rifle Association and Donald Trump's presidential campaign, for conspiring to act as a Russian agent without registering with the US Department of Justice.

In a criminal complaint unsealed on Monday, federal prosecutors charge that Butina, 29, who enrolled as graduate student at American University in fall 2016, developed "relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation." The complaint says the activity occurred between 2015 and February of 2017. 

Prosecutors say that Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank. Though that official is not named in court documents, the description matches that of Aleksander Torshin, who was among Russian officials sanctioned by the Treasury Department in April. 

Posted by at July 16, 2018 4:43 PM