Butina, who founded a pro-gun Russian advocacy group called Right to Bear Arms, has not been charged with espionage or with being a member of a Russian intelligence service. Butina and Torshin sought to build bridges with American political leaders via the National Rifle Association, but it isn't clear whether that is the entity to which the government alluded in its court filing.
Russian national and gun-rights advocate Maria Butina traded sex for a position in a special-interest organisation, according to USA prosecutors who asked a judge to keep her in jail before trial because of her ties to Russian intelligence services.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson, an Obama appointee on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said the government had proved there are no conditions of release or combination of conditions that would ensure Butina would return to court for her trial.
Prosecutors said: "The concern that Butina poses a risk of flight is only heightened due to her connection to suspected Russian intelligence operatives".
The Russian woman arrested on charges of being a foreign agent had ties to Russian intelligence operatives and was in contact with them while in the United States, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
"Because Butina has been exposed as an illegal agent of Russian Federation, there is the grave risk that she will appeal to those within that government with whom she conspired to aid her escape from the United States", the government's attorneys wrote.
Per the indictment, Butina allegedly lied on the F-1 student visa application that allowed her to come to the US for graduate school in 2016.
Butina was arrested over the weekend amid signs that she planned to leave the country.
Moreover, they wrote, her lease is up at the end of July and she had boxes packed, apparently with the intention to move. This person was "instrumental in aiding her covert influence operation, despite knowing its connections to the Russian Official".
In the email, Butina asked the unnamed Russian official for $125,000 to participate in "all upcoming major conferences" of "Political Party 1". You have upstaged Anna Chapman.
The government says Butina is a flight risk and the court had to consider whether she would flee if she was granted bail. One such exchange occurred a month before the USA presidential election when Butina said she understood that "everything has to be quiet and careful". That official, who left the United States in March, was suspected of being a Russian intelligence officer, according to prosecutors. "What can I say!()" Butina responded, "Good teachers!" That description would match Alexander Torshin, a former Russian senator and central banker who was one of 17 Russian government officials individually subjected to sanctions earlier this year for activities related to Syria and Ukraine as well as Crimea.
Other photos show the trio alongside David Keene, who formerly served as NRA president and chairman of the American Conservative Union, a group best known for organizing the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which Butina has reportedly attended as a VIP. He and the Russians sought to use the imprimatur of the NRA in order to meet USA political leaders and Trump, citing a "back channel" he had forged with the Kremlin. Butina's attorney, Robert Driscoll, has called the allegations "overblown" and denied his client was a Russian agent.
In their filing Wednesday, prosecutors also said Butina lived with a 56-year-old American citizen identified as "U.S. Person 1" and was involved in a personal relationship with him.