GOP-linked Russian agent doesn't fear persecution by the Kremlin after cooperating with FBI

GOP-linked Russian agent doesn't fear persecution by the Kremlin after cooperating with FBI
Maria Butina/Shutterstock
Maria Butina/Shutterstock
News & Politics

On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that Maria Butina, who admitted in court to being a covert agent of Russia in December, is seeking expedited deportation back to Russia. And curiously, she does not fear reprisal at the hands of the Kremlin:

In the filing, released on Friday, Butina asked for a judicial order of removal, which would keep her and the government from having to go through the typical process Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to deport immigrants. In short, the filing expedites her deportation from the country. In the filing, Butina a Russian national, who pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count said she does not expect to face persecution or torture in Russia.

This is surprising, given that Butina entered a plea agreement that required her cooperation with federal authorities, and the Russian government has a history of carrying out hits on former assets they no longer trust.

Butina was part of a complex scheme to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party, organized with the help of Vladimir Putin ally Alexander Torshin. She has been romantically involved with GOP strategist Paul Erickson, who is under investigation as part of the scheme and has been indicted in a completely separate fraud case in South Dakota.

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