April 26, 2019

Eighteen months including 9 months served seems like a short sentence, but it's the maximum. And Maria Butina was infiltrating the NRA and Republican Party, not the government. Until those things WERE the government as a result of the stolen 2016 election. The Judge in the case didn't sugarcoat it.

KEN DILANIAN: This judge said that this was no mere naïve college student who simply failed to fill out a form and register. That this was an agent of Russia who came here to curry favor and influence with influential Americans, mainly Republican, and the National Rifle Association. And Maria Butina helped sponsor a trip that senior NRA officials traveled to Moscow in 2015, she was hosting friendship dinners. At one point according to court documents she even suggested that the Russians would somehow have influence over who would be the secretary of state in the trump administration. There is no evidence that that is actually true, but this was the kind of thing that she was doing. She was making inroads and trying to influence Americans. And the government said this was a dangerous process. She was doing it without registering, by passing state department channels. And it was bad for national security is what they were saying. The defense argued, oh, no, this was simply a woman interested in international relations, advancing the caused of her country and failed to register. The judge repudiated that view, handed her 18 months. She will get credit for the nine months she's already served in jail. And after she serves the sentence, she will be deported back to Russia. The judge said this is no mere failure to provide the US with relevant information. Russia was looking to interfere with the US political process, and the conduct was sophisticated. This case was not simply about failing to notify the Attorney General. That is a reference to Butina's handler, Aleksandr Torshin, a Russian central banker who laundered money for the Russian mob. He was directing her to essentially further Russian influence in the United States. So again, 18 months in prison for Maria Butina, a Russian agent in the United States.

There is much irony that Donald Trump is speaking TODAY before the Russian Money Laundering (allegedly!) financially-strapped (we hope) mis-appropriating funds guilty (of course) National Rifle Association.

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