We’re listening to for the primary time from the household of a lady who’s accused of being a Russian spy. Twenty-nine-year-oldbeen in jail in Virginia since July 15 and is charged with conspiracy and appearing as a overseas agent. Now, her father is sharing his facet of the story from her hometown in Siberia.
Maria was a daily at gun rights occasions within the U.S. earlier than she was charged this summer season. Over e mail, Valery Butin informed CBS Information’ Bianna Golodryga, the costs in opposition to his daughter are usually not true and that she got here to America to review.
Prosecutors declare she was trulygaining “entry…to an intensive community of U.S. individuals in positions to affect political actions.”
In response to the FBI, her focus was on gun lobbyists and conservative politicians, together with Nationwide Rifle Affiliation CEO Wayne LaPierre and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Maria was right here on a pupil visa to review worldwide relations. Her father claims that is why she reached out to political figures, to not spy on them.
Prosecutors say Maria infiltrated these social circles utilizing a romantic relationship with Republican guide Paul Erickson. Her father says his household has recognized Erickson since 2014.
He despatched CBS Information movies of himself, Maria’s mom and grandmother wishing Erickson comfortable birthday final 12 months. Butin says his daughter’s relationship with Erickson is real and that destiny introduced them collectively.
Maria faces as much as 15 years in jail. Final week, she was denied a request to be launched into home arrest. In that very same listening to, prosecutors backed off their earlier claims that Maria traded intercourse for entry. No date for her trial has been set.
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