Live Blog

Live Blog

Russian NRA infiltrator arrested on espionage charges.

Maria Butina, a Second Amendment supporter with the National Rifle Association, has been charged with spying in the U.S. for Russia.

The Guardian has the story:

Maria Butina was charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian federation within the US without prior notification to the attorney general.

Butina, 29, was arrested on Sunday and appeared before a magistrate in Washington on Monday, according to the US justice department.

She is known as a protege of Alexander Torshin, a Russian former state banker, who met Donald Trump Jr for dinner at the NRA’s 2016 convention. Torshin was placed under sanction by the US in April this year.

A Justice Department press release said Butina had been “developing relationships with US persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian federation.”

Now, this does not mean Trump's campaign colluded with Russia or that the NRA is a Russian puppet, only that one particular alleged Russian spy may have infiltrated the NRA to spy on and influence American politics. This story is developing.