U.S. concedes error in sex claim about alleged Russian agent
WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors concede that they misinterpreted text messages when they alleged that a Russian woman accused of working as a secret agent traded sex for access.
Prosecutors acknowledged the mistake in a court filing this weekend in the case of Maria Butina, a gun rights activist charged with working as a covert agent and trying to establish back-channel lines of communication to the Kremlin.
The government had earlier asserted that Butina had offered sex in exchange for a position with a special interest organization.
Her lawyer, Robert Driscoll, has strongly denied the accusation.
In the government’s court filing, prosecutors say that “even granting that the government’s understanding of this particular text conversation was mistaken,” there is still other evidence for why she should remain in custody.