Somebody seems nervous.
Courtesy of Reuters:
Russia’s foreign minister told his U.S. counterpart on Saturday that a woman arrested in the United States on accusations she was a Russian agent had been detained on “fabricated charges” and should be released.
Sergei Lavrov made the comments about Maria Butina in a phone call to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that was aimed at improving bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement in the wake of the recent summit in Helsinki.
On Wednesday, a U.S. judge ordered Butina jailed until her trial after U.S. prosecutors argued she has ties to Russian intelligence and could flee the United States.
Butina has been accused of working with a high-powered Russian official and two unidentified U.S. citizens, trying to infiltrate a pro-gun rights organization in the United States and influence the United States’ foreign policy toward Russia.
Lavrov said the actions of the American authorities, who arrested Butina “on the basis of fabricated charges”, were unacceptable and called for her release as soon as possible.
Not to tell the Russians how to do their jobs or anything, but if a judge puts one of their people in jail for fear they will flee the country, and then the foreign minister from her native country demands her release, that kind of sounds like the judge made a good call.
I’m just saying.
Besides, if Lavrov is right and these charges are “fabricated” that would mean Butin is NOT a Russian agent and therefore has nothing incriminating to share with our government.
So why all the worry?
Oh, by the way, did I mention that according to Butina’s lawyer she is cooperating with the investigators?
So hey, perhaps the Russians are less concerned with Butina not being treated fairly and more concerned that they cannot shut her up while she is safely locked up in a jail cell.
Just thinking out loud.
Do you know who else probably wants Butina shut up?
For decades, the National Rifle Association has promoted its hardline politics with appeals to patriotism, freedom, and the staunch defense of the Second Amendment. But now, the controversial gun lobbying group finds itself deeply caught up in a wide-ranging effort to sabotage American democracy by an enemy foreign power.
Federal prosecutors unsealed charges this week against 29-year-old Russian national Maria Butina, a self-styled gun activist with long-running ties to the NRA who worked for Alexander Torshin, a high-level Russian government and banking official from President Vladimir Putin’s party. Butina, who was a graduate student at American University until this spring, began traveling to the United States in 2014 and operated as a “covert Russian agent,” according to an FBI affidavit. She acted as an unregistered foreign agent and participated in a multiyear conspiracy to infiltrate conservative political groups including the NRA, federal prosecutors say, in order to “advance the interests of the Russian Federation.”
Interestingly enough the NRA has NOT called these charges “fabricated” in fact they have not said much of anything about this arrest.
I think that is because they are too busy freaking the fuck out.