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U.S. Judge Sets Sentencing Date For Maria Butina In Russian 'Secret Agent' Case

Maria Butina
Maria Butina

A U.S. judge says Russian citizen Maria Butina will be sentenced in April after admitting she was a secret agent for the Kremlin who tried to infiltrate U.S. conservative political groups as Donald Trump rose to power in 2016.

Butina appeared briefly on March 28 in federal court in Washington where U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan set her sentencing date for April 26.

Butina did not speak during the court hearing.

In December, she pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent.

She agreed to cooperate with investigators as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Butina admitted that she and former Russian lawmaker Aleksandr Torshin used their contacts in the National Rifle Association to pursue back channels to American conservatives during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The charges against Butina were brought by federal prosecutors in Washington and her case is unrelated to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election.

Butina faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, though her lawyers have previously noted that federal sentencing guidelines recommend no time to six months.

She has been jailed since her arrest in July

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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