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According to meda wesbite Sputnik News, the US Department of Justice has added further charges against Russian national Mariia Butina. Butina was detained on charges of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent, and is now also being charged with acting as a foreign agent. The Russian embassy in Washington, DC urgently requested consular access to Butina, a request that the DoJ promptly denied. Russia has been pushing to gain access to Butina ever since she was arrested on Sunday on conspiracy charges after evidence showed Butina was working closely with Russian officials to develop open communication between the Kremlin and the US National Rifle Association (NRA).

Key quotes

“The US Department of Justice announced an additional charge for detained Russian national Mariia Butina on Tuesday, one day after she was accused of conspiring to act as a foreign agent.  The US government announced on Monday that Butina, 29, had been indicted for conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Moscow. With the latest additional alleged crime, Butina is seen by US authorities as having materially acted as a foreign agent in addition to conspiring to be one.  

A grand jury indicted the individual on Tuesday on the second charge. The indictment was filed in a Washington DC federal court, Bloomberg reported.  “Between in or around January 2015 and up to and including the present, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, defendant Mariia Butina, also known as “Maria Butina,” did act within the United States as an agent of a foreign government,” the new indictment said.”

Butina, a longtime advocate of gun rights in Russia and a recent graduate of DC’s American University, where she studied international relations, is widely believed to have worked with the US National Rifle Association (NRA). She is accused of conspiring with a Russian official via email and Twitter direct messages as well as emailing a US “person in an effort to develop, maintain, and exploit a relationship,” among other similar offenses.”