Maria Butina pleads guilty to conspiracy charge


Russian national Maria Butina pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to act as an agent for the Kremlin without registering in the U.S.

Under the plea agreement, Butina said she would cooperate with federal prosecutors. She reached the deal after U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan added a public defender to her legal team Friday.

Butina, 30, was charged in a years-long effort to infiltrate political groups on behalf of the Kremlin, including the National Rifle Association. The plea agreement stated that Butina “agreed and conspired, with a Russian government official and at least one other person… to act in the United States under the direction of (the) official” without notifying the Justice Department as the law requires.

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