Last week, federal judge Tanya Chatken announced that the verdict to Russian Maria Butina will be passed on April 26. The next day, both the defense and the prosecutor's office together requested that the judge, at the same time as the verdict, order to deport Boutin to his home country as a foreign woman who was engaged in the US "any criminal activity that poses a threat to public or national security."
Butina, 30, was arrested last July on charges of having worked in the United States as an unregistered foreign agent. In December, Butina pleaded guilty: being in collusion with then Central Bank deputy Alexander Torshin, she infiltrated the National Infantry Association and other conservative organizations with the intention of improving their attitude towards Russia and did not register with the US Justice Department.
Butina also agreed to cooperate with the investigation. In return, the prosecutor's office pledged to withdraw one point of the charge and not to demand that Judge Chatken sentenced her to more than 6 months in prison (in theory, Butyna faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to a quarter of a million dollars). Prosecutors also promised not to object if the judge sentenced the Russian woman to a term not related to the deprivation of liberty. Moreover, Judge Chatken has long made it clear that, perhaps, it will be limited to the period that Butina has already left for the bullpen.
If deported, the Russian woman will not be able to return to the United States within ten years without the special permission of the Minister of Internal Security.
As it was reported last Wednesday, Assistant Special Prosecutor Robert Muller, investigating the interference of Russian citizens in the American elections, interrogated Butin in January. The interrogation lasted only an hour and, according to CNN, concerned Butina’s relationship with the former employee of the Tramp electoral headquarters, J.D. Gordon, with whom they spoke for two months in 2016 and went together to the concert of the Chicago rock band "Styx".
Müller’s assistants interrogated Gordon as well, but he was not accused of anything.
As far as we know, Butina mostly testified to the Moscow Federal Prosecutor's Office in connection with the case of Republican political consultant Paul Erickson, who was recently accused of fraud and money laundering.
On March 28, Butina signed a four-page document, in which she agreed to deportation and stated that she had not been subjected to persecution or torture in the Russian Federation. In other words, she signed for the fact that she had no reason to seek political asylum in the United States.
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