Earlier in December, Russian spy Maria Butina agreed to cooperate with Federal Investigators. Butina was allegedly sent by The Kremlin to infiltrate American organizations, specifically the NRA. The alleged spy associated with many GOP figures such as Rick Santorum, David Clarke, Wayne LaPierre, and Donald Trump Jr.
Shortly after being discovered, rumors leaked out that Butina had offered sex in exchange for political influence. Now, it seems that Russian State Media is pushing the sex angle in an effort to distract from the spy accusations.
Maria Zakharova, the Press Official for the Russian Foreign Ministry, claims Butina is being tortured into revealing information. She says, “Under these conditions, you can make anyone admit to anything. You will admit that you’re a Japanese spy, a Chinese spy, or a medieval witch that tried to stir up a storm in Washington.”
Along with claiming that Butina is being tortured, Russia’s state media is also being dishonest about the penalties she is facing. Zakharova told Russians that Butina is facing 15 years in prison, an unlikely sentence if she cooperates with the investigation.
Another potential misdirection for the Russians is claiming that Butina wasn’t sleeping with people for influence, simply that she enjoyed it. TV host Andrey Malakhov asked, “What if her intentions were purely sexual? Couldn’t that be the case? Some people like to sleep with famous athletes and some with politicians. She came there and wanted to meet them, that’s all.”
Butina’s testimony to Federal Investigators has the potential to be very damaging for The Kremlin. The success of her campaign has also led to embarrassment for American figures who have tried to distance themselves from her. Both these parties will not mind the claims of sex for influence distracting the public from their involvement. Following her testimony, Butina will be returned to Russia.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.