Recent AU graduate charged with acting as Russian agent in US

Butina founded a gun-rights group in Russia according to US media

Butina founded a gun-rights group in Russia according to US media

The most famous is arguably flame-haired spy Anna Chapman who was exposed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation back in 2010, and now works as a shameless propagandist for Putin.

Butina voluntarily testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee for 8 hours "months ago", Driscoll said, and produced "thousands of documents" to the lawmakers. The Russian Central Bank declined to comment. Butina was involved with a Russian gun group that the National Rifle Association was supportive of and has met several Republican politicians, as evidenced in photos she took with them.

Butina is behind bars, pending a hearing set for July 18, 2018. While the official was not named in the indictment, it appears to be Torshin. In addition, she worked as an assistant to the deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank, Alexander Torshin, the former member of the Federation Council, the member of the Putin's political party allegedly associated with the Russian underworld.

Although U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed in a statement that "the IRS simply does not need tax returns with donor names and addresses to do its job" and "this change will in no way limit transparency", campaign watchdogs have long warned that such a move could expose U.S. elections to illegal interference from foreign entities.

The Justice Department said in its complaint that Butina worked with two unnamed US citizens and the Russian official to try to influence American politics and infiltrate a pro-gun rights organization. "These lines could be used by the Russian Federation to penetrate the USA national decision-making apparatus to advance the agenda of the Russian Federation".

She also discussed with the American "an advisors team on Russian Federation for a new president" two months before the USA election in 2016.

Butina is charged with failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, an allegation the Justice Department also has made against Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Justice Department's complaint also referenced an email written by Butina in March 2015 which discussed the prospect of a major political party winning the 2016 election which was "traditionally associated with negative and aggressive foreign policy" toward Russian Federation.

The Trump campaign aides who ultimately received this pitch did not agree to a formal meeting, but Torshin did meet the candidate's son Donald Trump Jr. briefly at an NRA convention in 2016.

Trump Jr. testified to lawmakers past year that he briefly met Torshin at a dinner with a few dozen officials from the NRA. According to Johnson's social media posts, Butina spoke about the lack of gun rights in her native Russian Federation. "And Russia has been driven - you know I've always heard for years I've heard one of the worst things that can happen to our country is if Russia ever gets driven to China".

Butina's lawyer, Robert Neil Driscoll, accused the Justice Department of trying to make mundane actions seem like "nefarious acts".

Butina will have some high-powered assistance mounting her defense.

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