Russian Agent Maria Butina Faces Sentencing

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Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina faces sentencing Friday in Washington, after her defense attorneys accused U.S. prosecutors of “sandbagging” her with last-minute espionage allegations in asking a judge for an 18-month prison term, The Washington Post reports.

Butina, 30, has requested a sentence of time served and deportation after agreeing to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors. She pleaded guilty in December to conspiring with a senior Russian official to access the National Rifle Association and conservative U.S. political circles for the Kremlin from 2015 until she was arrested and detained in July. She was the first Russian national convicted of seeking to influence American policy in the run-up to the 2016 election, though her case was handled by the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s national security division, not by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

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