Russia

The NRA’s Russian Spy May Be Flipping

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

NBC News first reported this afternoon that Maria Butina, the Russian spy who was embedded within the National Rifle Association (NRA), is negotiating with federal prosecutors.

Court filings show that the next hearing in her case was delayed because she's negotiating.

The two sides requested to postpone the next hearing in the case because they are currently "in negotiations regarding a potential resolution of this matter," indicating that they are working towards a plea agreement.

Butina is accused of acting as an agent of Russia in the D.C. area and faces charges of conspiracy and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Butina's lawyers strongly denied the charges against her when she was arrested earlier this year so this is a significant development.

The full extent of Russia's penetration of the NRA is still something of a mystery and I imagine prosecutors would only negotiate with Butina if they felt like she has useful information to give them.

I'm skeptical that this will lead to criminal charges against anyone at the NRA, but it could deepen their financial woes.

  • muselet

    I’m skeptical that this will lead to criminal charges against anyone at the NRA,—

    Agreed. Being testosterone-addled knuckleheads isn’t against the law, and while the NRA’s accepting contributions from (or through) a foreign national isn’t entirely legal, it’s likely the current administration would treat this case as a tax-code violation at most.

    —but it could deepen their financial woes.

    Oh, yes, please.

    This story has been weird from the start, but it’s also gratifying and just plain hilarious.

    –alopecia