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Tue Jul 17, 2018, 08:36 AM

Russian Accused of Infiltrating NRA on Mission From Kremlin


Mueller followed the #NRAROUBLES!

By Tom Schoenberg and Polly Mosendz

‎July‎ ‎16‎, ‎2018‎ ‎3‎:‎02‎ ‎PM Updated on ‎July‎ ‎16‎, ‎2018‎ ‎5‎:‎32‎ ‎PM
U.S. says Butina sought political back channel to Moscow
Assisted Torshin, with alleged mob ties and a link to Putin

U.S. authorities accused a Russian national of trying to establish a back channel to American politicians during the last election cycle, announcing the charges just hours after President Donald Trump accepted Russian President Vladimir Putinís assurance his country hadnít interfered.
The woman, Mariia Butina, tried to create a quiet line of communication between U.S. and Russian officials and attempted to infiltrate the National Rifle Association on behalf of the Russian government in a long-running scheme that traces its origins to at least 2013, prosecutors said. Butina, who appeared in federal court in Washington on Monday, is accused of failing to register as a foreign agent.
Butina is the latest Russian to be charged in an expanding investigation that on Friday led to the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers who allegedly stole and disseminated emails from Democratic groups. Special counsel Robert Mueller previously charged Russian social-media trolls and their backers with trying to sow discord in the U.S. political system and help elect Trump. The Justice Departmentís national security unit brought the charges against Butina and is handling the continuing investigation stemming from the computer intrusions.
Butina served as a special assistant to the deputy governor of Russiaís central bank, Alexander Torshin, a former Russian senator belonging to Vladimir Putinís political party who is allegedly tied to the Russian mob world. Torshin, who isnít named in the complaint but is identifiable by title, is now under sanctions by the U.S. government.

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