Maria Butina: Alleged Russia agent 'offered sex for job' - Whisper Eye

Maria Butina: Alleged Russia agent ‘offered sex for job’

An alleged Kremlin agent offered sex for a job with an American special interest organization she targeted, say US officials.

Maria Butina’s ties with Russian intelligence make her a flight risk, a federal judge ruled, and she will be held until her trial.

A lawyer for the 29-year-old said she has been co-operating with the US government for several months.

The case is not part of the US inquiry into alleged Russian election meddling.

Ms Butina, who was arrested on Sunday, appeared on Wednesday afternoon at a US court in Washington DC.

US Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson ruled that the government had proved there are no conditions of her release that would guarantee her return to court for trial.

She is facing charges of failing to register as a foreign agent and conspiring against the US government.

She is not charged with espionage.

On Wednesday, Moscow’s foreign ministry said Ms Butina’s arrest was designed to undermine the “positive results” of a summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

Court filings on Wednesday say Ms Butina was living with an unnamed 56-year-old American – identified in documents as US Person 1 – with whom she had a “personal relationship”.

“But this relationship does not represent a strong tie to the United States because Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities,” said the court papers.

In some of her photos on social media, Ms Butina is seen with Paul Erickson, a South Dakota-based conservative political activist who is listed in public records as being 56 years old.

She had “expressed disdain for continuing to cohabitate with” the American man, according to documents seized by the FBI.

Prosecutors said she did not appear to take the attachment seriously because “on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than US Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization”.

The documents do not name the organization in question.

But her social media accounts show she frequented National Rifle Association (NRA) events

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