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Maria Butina, an alleged Russian agent sentenced to 18 months in prison



She is the first Russian citizen convicted of 2016 election-related crimes, although her efforts to penetrate the Republican circles appeared to be separate from the Kremlin's broad campaign to fight the election described in the report by Special Advocate Robert Muller .

The 30-year-old gunman is arrested after his arrest in July and will receive credit for the nine months he served. She will be deported to Russia after serving her sentence. "

" This is not just a misunderstanding from a foreign student, "said Judge Tanya Chutkan.

Choutkan said that Butina, who teaches at the American University in Washington, is working on a Russian employee "Behavior is complicated and deeply penetrates into political organizations," Chutkan said, preparing the government's recommendation and noting that Butin's actions were being carried out as Russia was actively trying to intervene in a democratic process of the United States.

Button speaks in BC a five-minute hearing on Friday, and her voice is sometimes torn off by regretting her crime and asking for forgiveness

"I deeply regret this crime," Button said, ironically, it hurt the my attempts to improve relations between the two countries. "

" I have come to the United States not by command but by hope, "said Butina," I was trying to build bridges between my homeland and the country I loved. " I did not want to hurt anyone, "Butina said.

While prosecutors admit that Butina is not a spy in their traditional sense, they say her crime can still jeopardize national security.

  How the case against Maria Butina began

Butina admitted guilty in December of a conspiracy number to act as agent of a foreign official. She admitted to using her contacts in the political circles of the PP, the National Shooting Association, and the National Prayer Breakfast to influence US relations with Russia.

As part of the recognition agreement, Butina cooperates widely with the government. A source familiar with the situation said he was primarily providing information about his friend Paul Eriksson's political operator, who was involved in her scheme. So far, Eriksson has not been charged with DC charges. Erickson was charged in February on charges of bodily fraud and money laundering in a separate case in South Dakota. He is not found guilty of federal accusations.

"I still have a whisper in my heart to come back one day"

Prosecutors on Friday brought a former FBI senior officer to the court who is ready to testify that the actions of Butina pose a "serious potential risk to the US".

The official, Robert Anderson, did not speak at the hearing, but Chatcan has made numerous references to the oath he has presented while weighing the weight of Button's work.

US Attorney-at-Law Officer Eric Kenseron said that Butina worked with a Russian official as a "conductor" to send information to the Russian government and indicated several examples that the defense had not challenged her reports, including a list of potential Nominees for US Secretary of State, which she sent back.

Carson also described how Butina would organize dinners with influential Americans to practice and "adjust the pitch" to retrieve useful information.

Alfred Carey, one of Butina's attorneys, downplayed the importance of the dinner she had organized Butina.

"They were a cultural exchange," where people, including artists and philanthropists, gathered and "talked about peace," he said.

He said that Butina, prior to her arrest, planned to stay in the US and act as a "go-to-consultant" on the issues between the country and Russia

In her statement to the court, Butina repeated these desires said, "I still wonder in my heart that one day I will return to this country, but I know this desire is only a dream. "

CNN's Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.
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