Maria Butina, who is accused of spying on the US for Russia, should return home within four to six weeks according to her lawyer Robert Driscoll in an interview with RT from Washington DC on Thursday.
“We are hoping to have a sentencing set in the next month and hoping that she will be home fairly soon after that,” said Driscoll. The lawyer also refuted claims that Butina was guilty of espionage.”
“She was not even charged with espionage. She plead guilty to a very obscure US statute for essentially acting as an agent of a foreign official,” he told the interviewer. “Where is the communication, anyone in the intelligence agencies, I don’t see it. Where there are any covert types of things?”
Butina, a former student at American University and a gun rights activist, admitted in December to conspiring to act as an agent for the Kremlin without registering in the US. She was the first Russian to be convicted of working to influence US policy during the 2016 presidential race.
Questioned as to why the 30-year-old Russian took a plea deal, Driscoll said his priority was getting her home as soon as possible. The lawyer also said that Butina was “seeking peace” between the two countries.
“You have someone who viewed themselves as a peace builder, wanted to build bridges between the two countries in the private sphere and ended up getting caught up in this and I think it is unfortunate,” he concluded.