Maria Butina to be represented by federal public defender at appeal hearings


Maria Butina, a Russian citizen sentenced to 18 month in the US federal prison for violating the law on foreign agents, will appeal the sentence.

According to the document, posted by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Butina will be represented by the federal public defender for the District of Columbia.

Former Butina’s Attorney Robert Driscoll is now expected to hand over all the documents one the case, as obliged by the court.

Butina was detained in July, 2018, and Justice Department accused her of acting “as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with US persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.” In December Butina pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to 18 months in prison. Prosecutors described Butina’s case as a planned operation of the Russian government.

“This is not a registration offense. This is a case where the defendant acted in the United States as the agent of a foreign government,” said Erik Kenerson, Assistant US Attorney. “She did so for the benefit of Russia.”

Yet, Butina’s case wasn’t mentioned in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Driscoll told the reporters that he “found it curious that that was mentioned, that what she did was during the time of Russian election interference as alleged by the judge. When in fact had she been involved in any of that, I would imagine, special counsel Mueller would have mentioned it somewhere in his 400 pages if she had anything to do with it. But he did not.”
Russian news agency TASS reported that it was Butina’a decision to file and appeal in order to set a precedent in cases similar to hers.

Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website

Natalia Veselnitskaya
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