Russian sentenced to prison for trying to infiltrate U.S. right-wing, gun rights groups

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Russian sentenced to prison for trying to infiltrate U.S. right-wing, gun rights groups Empty Russian sentenced to prison for trying to infiltrate U.S. right-wing, gun rights groups

Post by Ben Reilly on Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:24 pm

A federal judge sentenced the Russian gun-rights activist Maria Butina to 18 months in prison on Friday, after she tried to infiltrate US conservative groups and the National Rifle Association to promote Russian political interests around the 2016 election.

After serving time in prison, Butina, 30, would be deported, a US district court judge said in a ruling the Russian embassy in Washington attacked as “political” and driven by “repressive US legislation”.

The judgment, which Butina can appeal, is a turning point in a high-profile case that came amid speculation over the extent of Russian interference in American politics.

Butina, who has been in custody since her arrest last summer, had admitted conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent for Russia at the US district court for the District of Columbia in December, and began cooperating with the US authorities.

Prosecutors did not consider her a traditional spy but had concerns that she was a threat to national security.

Butina built a powerful network that reached into Donald Trump’s circle, tried to infiltrate the NRA, whose annual meeting Trump and Mike Pence are addressing on Friday, and relay intelligence on American politicians to a Russian government official.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/26/maria-butina-sentenced-18-months-russia-nra

I'd be interested in any comment the Trump administration had to make about this, but I bet not a word will be uttered because of stuff like this:

[Butina] did not shy away from the spotlight. In July 2015 Butina was selected to ask Trump a question about his plans for ties with Russia at a rally in Las Vegas. In what are thought to be his first public remarks on the issue, the novice candidate replied: “I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin … I don’t think you’d need the sanctions.”
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Russian sentenced to prison for trying to infiltrate U.S. right-wing, gun rights groups Empty Re: Russian sentenced to prison for trying to infiltrate U.S. right-wing, gun rights groups

Post by Maddog on Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:26 pm

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
A federal judge sentenced the Russian gun-rights activist Maria Butina to 18 months in prison on Friday, after she tried to infiltrate US conservative groups and the National Rifle Association to promote Russian political interests around the 2016 election.

After serving time in prison, Butina, 30, would be deported, a US district court judge said in a ruling the Russian embassy in Washington attacked as “political” and driven by “repressive US legislation”.

The judgment, which Butina can appeal, is a turning point in a high-profile case that came amid speculation over the extent of Russian interference in American politics.

Butina, who has been in custody since her arrest last summer, had admitted conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent for Russia at the US district court for the District of Columbia in December, and began cooperating with the US authorities.

Prosecutors did not consider her a traditional spy but had concerns that she was a threat to national security.

Butina built a powerful network that reached into Donald Trump’s circle, tried to infiltrate the NRA, whose annual meeting Trump and Mike Pence are addressing on Friday, and relay intelligence on American politicians to a Russian government official.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/26/maria-butina-sentenced-18-months-russia-nra

I'd be interested in any comment the Trump administration had to make about this, but I bet not a word will be uttered because of stuff like this:

[Butina] did not shy away from the spotlight. In July 2015 Butina was selected to ask Trump a question about his plans for ties with Russia at a rally in Las Vegas. In what are thought to be his first public remarks on the issue, the novice candidate replied: “I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin … I don’t think you’d need the sanctions.”

So basically she was a lobbyist for Russian interests, but didn't register as one?

Or are foreign nationals never allowed to lobby for the interests of their home country?

I'm thinking the former is the case.

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Post by Ben Reilly on Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:33 pm

Yeah, I think if you're doing business on behalf of a foreign country's government and you're not above board about that, you're basically a spy.

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Russian sentenced to prison for trying to infiltrate U.S. right-wing, gun rights groups Empty Re: Russian sentenced to prison for trying to infiltrate U.S. right-wing, gun rights groups

Post by Original Quill on Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:31 pm

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:Yeah, I think if you're doing business on behalf of a foreign country's government and you're not above board about that, you're basically a spy.

Spot on. And in the case of a known and notorious enemy, who is well-practiced in such tactics, it's a given. Cool

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