Russian ‘agent’ Maria Butina released from US prison after 18 months behind bars

Alexandria Sheriff's Office, REUTERS | Maria Butina appears in a police booking photo released by the Alexandria Sheriff's Office in Alexandria, Virginia, US, on August 18, 2018.

A Russian gun rights activist who admitted being a secret agent for the Kremlin and trying to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups while Donald Trump rose to power has been released from federal prison.


That’s according to a statement Friday from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which says it has taken custody of Maria Butina. She’s expected to return to Russia now that she’s finished her 18-month sentence.

Butina pleaded guilty last December to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent.

Butina admitted that she sought to use contacts in the National Rifle Association to pursue back channels to American conservatives during the 2016 presidential campaign, when Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The case was separate from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Take international news everywhere with you! Download the France 24 app