9/11/2018

The supposed Russia/NRA/GOP connection was based prosecutors now admitting that they misunderstood a joke? Seriously?

For weeks, prosecutors made sure to fuel stories of an attractive Russian spy ensnaring older men with sexual favor.  Now, the Justice Department admitted in a court filing that they had been “mistaken” in interpreting what joking emails as serious offers. 
Federal prosecutors have admitted that they wrongly accused Maria Butina, a Russian citizen now in custody on charges of illegally acting as a foreign agent, of offering to trade sex for a job as part of a covert effort by Russian government officials to infiltrate Republican circles in the United States. 
In a court filing late Friday, prosecutors in the United States attorney’s office in Washington acknowledged that they had been “mistaken” in interpreting what were apparently joking text messages between Ms. Butina and a friend who had helped her renew her car insurance. 
Ms. Butina was charged this summer with conspiracy and illegally acting as an agent of the Russian government in what prosecutors have claimed was a secret campaign to try to influence high-level Republican politicians, including Donald J. Trump, both as a candidate and after his election. Denied bail, she is now in custody in the detention center in Alexandria, Va. . . .
“I’m glad they walked it back, but in a lot of ways, the damage is already done,” Robert N. Driscoll, Ms. Butina’s lawyer, said in an interview. In court filings, he has argued that his client engaged in innocent political activity but has now been falsely portrayed as a villain in a sensationalized spy drama. “A simple Google search using the phrase ‘Maria Butina and sex’ yields over 300,000 hits,” he said. . . .
Please note that in this story there is no mention of the NRA. Take some of the New York Times previous headlines:
Wife of Former NRA President Tapped Accused Russian Agent 
Maria Butina Loved Guns, Trump and Russia. It was cover 
Timeline of Suspected Plot to Infiltrate NRA, GOP

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