Russian Mariia Butina faces charges of conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent in an alleged Russian attempt to influence U.S. poliics by using the National Rifle Association as a cover to court politicians and a political candidate from 2015 until her arrest.
A federal indictment filed in the District of Columbia Tuesday alleges Butina worked under the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government and Russian central bank, to advance the agenda of the Russian federation.
Although the indictment does not name her Russian boss, it is widely believed to refer to Alexander Torshin, who is close to President Vladimir Putin.
Butina, 29, attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in January 2017 and arranged invitations for other Russian officials for the event. She asserts she was a student of the American University in Washington and promoted Russian gun rights at NRA events.
She was accused of failing to register as a foreign agent for Russia.
Her indictment did not come as part of the Mueller investigation, but in a separate inquiry by the National Security Agency.
Case: US v. Butina, No. 18-218 DC District Court