Russian woman arrested in Washington, accused of acting as Russian government agent


A Russian woman who tried to broker secret meetings between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin during the 2016 presidential campaign has been arrested for espionage, according to the US Justice Department.

Hours after President Trump met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and said there’s no reason Russia would have meddled in the US election, the Justice Department announced the arrest of 29-year-old Russian national Maria Butina and charged her with spying in the US.

The agency said Butina, 29, who lives in Washington, D.C., acted as an agent inside the U.S. “by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”

She undertook such activities without disclosing to the U.S. government that she was working for Russia, which is required by law.

Butina attempted to organize a pair of meetings between Putin and Trump during the campaign, according to the New York Times.

According to a court affidavit, from as early as 2015 and continuing through at least February 2017, Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank.

Read more at the NY Post