Russia national Maria Butina, who had presented herself as a pro-gun supporter in the Unites States while developing relationships with the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party, could likely be deported soon back to Moscow. Her passport has been handed over to the US immigration service in expectations of her return.
The attorney expects that during the upcoming court hearing in Washington, the judge will appoint the date of Butina’s sentencing. Driscoll hopes that the judge will deliver the verdict in “2 weeks to 6 weeks” after the hearing set for February 26, reported Russian state news agency TASS after interviewing Butina’s lawyer.
“Our hope would be that she’ll receive a sentence that will be equivalent to the time already served and that she will be released and deported soon after that,” the attorney stated.
“What ‘free to go’ would mean in this context is, because she is pleading to a felony, that’s a deportable offence, and so at that point we’ll have to deal with ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement – TASS). I’ve been talking to them in advance, obviously, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible so that we don’t have her in ICE detention for any significant length of time,” Robert Driscoll said.
“But hopefully, we can arrange it so that either she’ll go straight from Alexandria [jail] to a plane [to Russia] or maybe in a matter of a couple of days or a week. That’s something we got to work out, we’re working that out. ICE already has her [Butina’s] passport. We’re trying to make sure this happens as quickly as possible,” he continued.
Driscoll added that it is unclear whether Butina would return home via a commercial or a government flight. “It will be unclear, we don’t know yet, there is a lot of kinds of logistical things: will they allow her to take a commercial flight or will they fly her back on a government plane – I don’t know any of that yet,” the lawyer noted. “Hopefully we can just buy her a commercial ticket from Dallas [Washington airport] to Moscow and be done with that. But we should know more about how it’s going to work as we approach the sentencing. That should become more clear,” he concluded.