Woman accused of being Russian agent expected to change plea

WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman accused of being a secret agent for the Russian government is expected to plead guilty.

Maria Butina is scheduled to appear before a judge in Washington later Thursday morning.

The 30-year-old gun rights activist is accused of gathering intelligence on American officials and political organizations. Prosecutors say Butina’s work was directed by a former Russian lawmaker.

They say she worked to develop relationships with American politicians through her contacts with the National Rifle Association.

Butina’s court appearance comes days after her lawyers and prosecutors filed legal papers asking to change her plea. They said they had “resolved” the case.

A judge must sign off on any plea deal.

Butina’s lawyer has argued she is simply a student interested in better U.S.-Russia relations.

Categories: National & International News