|Maria Butina Sexy Seductress (Click Photos to Enlarge!)|
Maria Butina very calculatedly used a “guns ‘n tits” strategy when she engaged in a campaign to build influence among Republican Party operatives and their biggest GOP constituent group, the National Rifle Association.
Her influence campaign could have been culled from a John le Carré novel.
For evidence that her sexual wiles were a part of her toolbox to influence U.S. policy look no further than her social media pages. She frequently peppered them with sexy, glamour photos and reportedly made offers of sex to gain access, according to federal authorities.
Butina, 30, a reputed Russian gun rights activist, worked for years to cultivate relationships within Republican and NRA circles, according to published reports.
She was charged with working as an agent of the Russian government earlier this year and was held in solitary confinment, without bail, until a hearing today (Dec. 13).
Last week, a federal grand jury charged her with acting as an agent of the Russian Federation without notifying government authorities.
On Monday, reports broke that she had agreed to change her not guilty plea and plead guilty to conspiracy charges.
IM reported on her plans to cooperate with prosecutors on the previous Friday.
According to a statement of facts entered in conjunction with her guilty plea, Butina worked to “establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics… for the benefit of the Russian Federation.”
Butina worked in conjunction with a “Russian Official,” widely believed to be Russian central banker and Vladimir Putin ally Alexander Torshin, who also happens to be a life member of the NRA.
She also worked closely with GOP operative Paul Erickson, who has been widely reported to be Butina’s “boyfriend,” and is now considered a “co-conspirator.”
Remarkably, in a move out of keeping with spy-craft, Butina detailed her plans in writing in a document, titled “Description of the Diplomacy Project.”
Although a Russian national, Butina was an astute student of the U.S. political landscape. She detailed plans to create an “unofficial channel of communication with the next U.S. administration” through the “gun rights organization.”
Butina believed the NRA had influence over the GOP, an observation that has been demonstrated repeatedly by the organizations strong financial support for Republican candidates for political office.
Torshin signed off on most of the proposal. Erickson also appeared to be all-in on the plan.
Erickson has subsequently received a “target letter” from federal authorities, a formal declaration that he is under investigation and potentially subject to charges. He is reportedly alleged to have acted as a secret agent of a foreign government.
The 56-year-old GOP operative’s relationship with Butina was clearly sexual, but the Russian appeared to view the liaison as means to further her ends.
Court filings filed following her arrest stated that “Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities.”
Maria Butina had “expressed disdain for continuing to co-habitate with” the American man, according to documents seized by the FBI. Among other things, she used him to do her homework for college courses she was taking, which also was part of her cover.
“On at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than Erickson “sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization.” The National Rifle Association is widely believed to be the organization.
Federal prosecutors say Butina, who is half Erickson’s age, engaged in a “duplicitous relationship.” Erickson was used for cover and connections as she developed an influence operation.
Throughout her plight, however, Erickson has continued the relationship. He has been spotted visiting her in jail.
Prosecutors also say Erickson “worked with Butina to arrange introduction to U.S. persons having influence in American politics,” according to ABC News.
Those individuals include high-ranking members of the NRA and organizers of the National Prayer Breakfast, “for the purposes of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”
Check out the video below and Butina’s fetching photos.