Alleged Russian Agent Charged With Spying on U.S., Maria Butina, Ordered to Jail Pending Hearing

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A judge ordered accused Russian agent Maria Butina to be jailed until her July 24 trial after U.S. prosecutors argued that she is a flight risk, Reuters reports. Prosecutors have not charged Butina with espionage, but claim she has connections within Russian intelligence and engaged in a “covert influence campaign.” The lead prosecutor told the judge that they “do not believe she was here… just to attend American University.” Prosecutors also presented a photo of her sitting at a restaurant with a man who they believe to be a Russian intelligence agent, along with a letter asking “how to respond to an employment offer from a Russian intelligence agency” and a photo of her in front of the U.S. Capitol on the day of President Trump’s inauguration. The government also revealed that the man Butina was romantically involved with, known as “U.S. Person 1” in court records, is now facing a “criminal fraud investigation” in South Dakota. Butina maintained her innocence and pleaded not guilty at the hearing.

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SOURCE: The Daily Beast