A Russian woman accused of conspiring to infiltrate American political organizations — including the National Rifle Association — at the direction of an unnamed senior Kremlin official has been arrested, federal authorities announced Monday.
Her earlier work reportedly included assisting Russian central banker and politician Alexander Torshin, who is a lifetime member of the NRA.
FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson wrote that the goal was to "exploit personal connections with U.S. persons having influence in American politics in an effort to advance the interests of the Russian Federation."
Helson added, "I believe that Butina and the Russian official took these steps in order to infiltrate those groups and advance the interests of the Russian Federation."
The DOJ added, “The court filings detail the Russian official’s and Butina’s efforts for Butina to act as an agent of Russia inside the United States 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.