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Prosecutors Admit They Wrongly Accused Maria Butina of Trading Sex for Influence

HeadlineSep 11, 2018

And federal prosecutors have admitted they wrongly accused Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina of trading sex for influence with high-level Republicans. The Justice Department has charged Maria Butina with acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government, and accused her of trying to infiltrate the NRA and other right-wing groups. But the prosecutors now admit they mistakenly interpreted a joking text exchange between Butina and her longtime friend, who took Butina’s car for an inspection and then texted her, “I don’t know what you owe me for this insurance…” Butina jokingly answered, “Sex. Thank you so much.” Prosecutors now admit this exchange does not prove she was trading sex as part of a secret Russian government effort to infiltrate high-level Republican circles. On Monday, a federal judge ruled Butina must stay in jail until her trial because she is a flight risk.

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