Ms. Butina, a Russian citizen, was arrested Sunday and charged with acting on behalf of the Russian government without registering as a foreign agent. According to the press release Mr. Hogg retweeted, Ms. Butina was tasked by the Kremlin with “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics” to aid Moscow’s ends.
One of those groups was a gun-rights organization, according to the charging documents. It was widely reported Monday afternoon that the group was the National Rifle Association.
“Looks like we’ve found the Russian in this witch hunt,” Mr. Hogg wrote.
Looks like we’ve found the Russian in this witch hunt. https://t.co/Zk2Zj8XGKm— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) July 16, 2018
“Here is a Russian spy with a Russian asset,” he tweeted.
Here is a Russian spy with a Russian asset pic.twitter.com/1uR4tRDNCF— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) July 17, 2018
Ms. Butina has not been charged with espionage.
Nothing in the charging documents, and the crime of non-registering wouldn’t require it anyway, proves that Ms. Butina persuaded the NRA to change any of its historic stances, including its opposition to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“There is simply no indication of Ms. Butina seeking to influence or undermine any specific policy or law or the United States – only at most to promote a better relationship between the two nations,” her attorney Robert Driscoll said in a statement. “The complaint is simply a misuse of the Foreign Agent statute, which is designed to punish covert propaganda, not open and public networking by foreign students.”
Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.