Russian agent Maria Butina sentenced to 18 months in prison

Butina 'jeopardized this country's national security' says judge

Maria Butina (aka Mariia Butina) has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiring to act as an unregistered agent for the Russian government in the United States.

She will get credit for the 9 months she's already served, meaning she must now serve an additional 9 months under today's sentence.

There must be interesting reasons she received so many visits from Russian "consular officials" while detained during her trial.

"You have a future ahead of you," said the judge during Butina's sentencing hearing. "I wish you the best luck."

When Butina's done serving her time, the U.S. tosses her out. Her fate back home may be that of a national hero. Or not, hard to know in Putin's Russia.

Butina won't be allowed back in the United States for at least another 10 years. Here is her deportation order with details.

Also in today's news, President Donald Trump will shortly address the NRA convention in Indianapolis.

Butina's work as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia's military was to develop ties with Trump and the NRA, to influence America and achieve Russian foreign policy goals within the borders of its enemy.

The Russian Embassy dismisses Butina's sentence as 'blatant lawlessness,' and there's an article on their official Twitter mouthpiece if you'd like to read it. We avoid linking to the enemy.

Here is the Justice Department's announcement about Butina's sentencing:

Mariia Butina, a Russian national, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison after earlier pleading guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu, and Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI's Washington Field Office.

Butina, 30, a Russian citizen who had been residing in Washington D.C., pled guilty on Dec. 13, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was sentenced by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. Following her incarceration, she is to be deported to Russia.

According to the government's evidence, from approximately 2015 to 2017, Butina acted as an agent of a Russian government official. Under his direction, she provided key information about Americans who were in a position to influence United States politics and took steps to establish an unofficial line of communication between Russia and these Americans. As described in the plea documents, Butina sought to do so for the benefit of the Russian Federation. She took these actions without providing the required notifications to the Attorney General that she was in fact acting as an agent of the Russian Federation.

Butina was arrested on July 15, 2018, in Washington, D.C., and has been in custody ever since. Butina will get credit for the time she already has served. The court also granted a government motion that led to a reduced sentence in the case.

The investigation into this matter was conducted by the FBI's Washington Field Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik M. Kenerson, Thomas N. Saunders, and Jolie Zimmerman of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney William A. Mackie of the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Maria Butina, presumed Russian agent, and Paul Erickson, GOP political operative, pictured in an undated personal photo first published by ABC News.

What happens to Paul Erickson's legal fate now, one wonders?

Responses from Twitter below.