The Department of Justice admitted today that it falsely accused Russian national Maria Butina of offering sex for access to an American ‘special interest’ organization but said her other actions justified her continued detention.
Prosecutors said they ‘misunderstood’ a text exchange captured between Butina and another individual, who turned out to be a Russian friend.
The 2015 text exchange between Butina and a married, longtime friend who does public relations work for a Russian gun rights group, and did her a favor by renewing her car insurance, reads:
“I don’t know what you owe me for this insurance[.] They put me through the wringer,” her friend texted her in Russian.
“Sex,” responded Butina, who added: “Thank you so much. I have nothing else at all. Not a nickel to my name.”
The man later replied: “Think of something!! . . . Sex with you does not interest me,”reported Zero Hedge.
Prosecutors acknowledged the mistake in a court filing this weekend in the case of Maria Butina, a gun rights activist charged with working as a covert agent and trying to establish back-channel lines of communication to the Kremlin. The government had earlier asserted that Butina had offered sex in exchange for a position with a special interest organization. Her lawyer, Robert Driscoll, has strongly denied the accusation. In the government’s court filing, prosecutors say that “even granting that the government’s understanding of this particular text conversation was mistaken,” there is still other evidence for why she should remain in custody, reported The Washington Times.
US prosecutors on Friday argued that Butina should remain in jail pending trial, providing additional evidence that Torshin coordinated her activities – claiming that at his direction she drafted language which would persuade the Russian foreign ministry to let him attend the meeting at the NRA event, which she called a “unique opportunity,” added Zero Hedge.