Accused Russian agent Butina pleads guilty in U.S. to conspiracy
A woman accused of acting as a Russian agent to infiltrate a powerful gun lobby group and influence U.S. policy toward Moscow pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy in federal court on Thursday (December 13) in a deal with prosecutors that could give them insight into Russian meddling in American politics.
Maria Butina, a Russian former graduate student at American University in Washington who publicly advocated for gun rights, entered the plea at a court hearing in Washington before U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. She also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
Clad in a green jumpsuit with her red hair pulled back in a long braid, Butina replied "absolutely" when asked by Chutkan if her mind was clear as she prepared to enter her plea of guilty.