The statement of facts to which Butina, a Russian national, pleaded describe an effort undertaken at the direction of a top Russian official to infiltrate the conservative movement in the U.S. in the hopes of cementing bonds to benefit the Kremlin.
Case Document 66 Filed 12/13/18 Page 1 of 7
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Criminal Case: 18-218 (TSC)
MARIIA BUTINA, also known as I
BEE l3 2018
Clerk, US. District and
STATEMENT OF OFFENSE
Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 11, the United States and Defendant
Maria Butina (?Butina?) stipulate and agree that the following facts are true and accurate. These
facts do not constitute all facts known to the parties concerning the charged offense and covered
conduct. This statement is being submitted by the parties to demonstrate that suf?cient facts exist
to establish that the defendant committed the offense to which she is pleading guilty.
Statement of Facts
The government?s evidence includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Mariia V. Butina, also known as Maria Butina, is a citizen of the Russian Federation. U.S.
Person 1 is a United States citizen. Beginning no later than March of 2015, Butina and US.
Person I agreed and conspired, with a Russian government of?cial (?Russian Of?cial?) and at
least one other person, for Butina to act in the United States under the direction of Russian Of?cial
without prior noti?cation to the Attorney General. Russian Of?cial has served as the Deputy
Governor to the Russian Central Bank since at least 2015. He previously served as the First Deputy
Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. Butina knows Russian Of?cial.
Case Document 66 Filed 12/13/18 Page 2 of 7
With U.S. Person 1?s assistance and subject to Russian Of?cial?s direction, Butina sought
to establish unof?cial lines of communication with Americans having power and in?uence over
U.S. politics. Butina sought to use those unof?cial lines of communication for the bene?t of the
Russian Federation, acting through Russian Of?cial.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, Butina drafted a proposal in March of 2015 titled
Description of the Diplomacy Project. In it, Butina downplayed the possibility of in?uencing U.S.
foreign policy toward Russia through of?cial channels, criticizing government unwillingness to
compromise. As an alternative, Butina suggested that Russia could use unof?cial channels of
communication to the same end. Butina then cast herself as a possible unof?cial transmitter of
communications between Russia and the United States. Further, Butina opined that the
circumstances were favorable for building relations with a certain U.S. political party (hereafter,
?Political Party Butina predicted that the candidate nominated by Political Party #1 would
likely win the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Pointing to her recent travel to the United
States, her experience, and her attendance at conferences organized by a certain U.S. civil society
gun rights organization (hereafter, ?Gun Rights Organization?), which Butina posited had
in?uence over Political Party Butina stated she had laid the groundwork for an unof?cial
channel of communication with the next U.S. administration. For example, Butina listed actions
she had already taken, including being introduced to leaders of Political Party #1 as an unof?cial
representative of Russian Of?cial. She also identi?ed in her proposal a series of upcoming
conferences associated with Political Party #1 that she could attend to further the goal.
The Description of the Diplomacy Project was drafted by Butina with U.S. Person 1?s
assistance. U.S. Person 1 assisted with the proposal by providing Butina with information about
prominent U.S. political ?gures and a forecast of the upcoming presidential election. U.S. Person 1
Case Document 66 Filed 12/13/18 Page 3 of 7
also assisted by providing information about Vladimir Pozner, a Russian media commentator who,
as described in the proposal, had served as the ?unof?cial transmitter? of the policies of Mikhail
Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin in the United States. Butina sent a Google-translated version of the
proposal to US. Person 1 once drafted and asked for US. Person 1?s advice on it, which he agreed
Butina sent the proposal to Russian Of?cial and others. As part of the proposal, she
requested $125,000 from a Russian billionaire to attend the conferences identi?ed in the proposal
and ?separate meetings with interested parties? including other Russian businessmen or persons
at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the to help ?determine where the focus of
Russian interests lies [sic] in cooperating with the Butina informed U.S. Person 1 that she
was meeting with Russian Of?cial and others about the proposal. Russian Of?cial informed Butina
that her proposal would be supported, at least in part.
Without prior noti?cation to the Attorney General, Butina then took steps to achieve the
object of her agreement with US. Person 1. For example, in April of 201 5, Butina travelled to the
United States to attend a Gun Rights Organization convention. There, Butina highlighted her
experience as a gun rights advocate in Russia to gain the attention of the Gun Rights Organization
and its members. She was introduced to influential members of Political Party one of whom
announced his campaign to run for the presidency of the United States shortly thereafter.
Butina also invited powerful members of the Gun Rights Organization to Moscow to
advance her agenda. Before they arrived, U.S. Person 1 provided Butina with background
information on the invitees, including his assessment on their degree of political in?uence in the
United States. The members came to Moscow in December of 2015. During the trip, the Gun
Rights Organization members met with high-level Russian government of?cials as arranged by
Case Document 66 Filed 12/13/18 Page 4 of 7
Russian Of?cial. Prior to the visit, Butina stressed the importance of a political program as part of
the trip and asked Russian Of?cial to set up meetings with high-level Russian politicians. After
their visit, Butina sent Russian Of?cial a message in Russian, referring to members of the Gun
Rights Organization, which has been variously translated as saying, ?We should let them express
their gratitude now, we will put pressure on them quietly later,? and ?We should allow them to
express their gratitude now, and then quietly press.?
Butina also assisted a wealthy and well-connected US. person in hosting multiple, large
?friendship dinners? where other wealthy and in?uential Americans discussed U.S.-Russian
relations. Butina used these ?friendship dinners? to cultivate lines of communications with
individuals she believed would have the ear of the next US. presidential administration. At these
dinners, Butina was able to meet individuals with political capital, learn their thoughts and
inclinations toward Russia, gauge their responses to her, and adjust her pitch accordingly. In March
of 2016 prior to the ?rst of these dinners, Butina told Russian Of?cial about potential American
attendees to one of the dinners, based on information Butina obtained from US. Person 1.
Following that message, she emailed the wealthy, connected US. person, copying U.S. Person 1,
to say ?[Russian Of?cial] is very impressed by you and expresses his great appreciation for what
you are doing to restore the relations between the two countries. He also wants you to know that
Russians will support the efforts from our side.?
In June of 2016, Butina received an F-l student visa to enter the United States.l In
connection with her application, Butina did not disclose that she would be acting as an agent of a
foreign government of?cial or otherwise would be working to establish channels of
communication between Russian and American government of?cials.
All available evidence indicates that Butina had interest in a graduate school education.
Case Document 66 Filed 12/13/18 Page 5 of 7
Also in furtherance of the conspiracy, Butina helped Russian Of?cial organize a Russian
delegation to the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. Russian Of?cial directed
Butina to include certain people within the delegation and Butina complied with his instructions.
Butina then emailed that list of delegation invitees to US Person 1. Butina explained that the
people on the list had been ?hand-picked by [Russian Of?cial] and me? and that they were ?coming
to establish a back channel of communication.? Later, U.S. Person I emailed another person,
copying Butina, to say ?Reaction to the delegation?s presence in America will be relayed
(emphasis in original) to the Russian President and Foreign Minister.
Throughout the conspiracy, Butina wrote notes to Russian Of?cial about her efforts and
her assessment of the political landscape in the United States in advance of the 2016 election.
Butina wrote some of these notes in response to speci?c requests from Russian Of?cial. Others
she wrote on her own. Butina also sought Russian Of?cial?s advice on Whether to take meetings
with certain people. She asked him for direction on whether the Russian ?government? was ready
to meet with some of those people, and he asked her what she planned to do with her ?contacts,?
lest she and Russian Of?cial be forgotten after the election.
Butina was aware that Russian Of?cial sometimes acted in consultation with the MFA, in
addition to his superiors at the Russian Central Bank. For example, in May of 2016, Russian
Of?cial tasked Butina with writing him a note to explain why he should be permitted to travel to
the United States to attend the annual Gun Rights Organization meeting. She did as he directed,
encouraging his attendance partly because of the opportunity to meet political candidates. Butina
knew that Russian Of?cial would share this note with his superiors at the Russian Central Bank
and MFA to support a request that Russian Of?cial be sent to the annual Gun Rights Organization
meeting. In November of 2016, in response to a note from Butina about how to create a dialogue
Case Document 66 Filed 12/13/18 Page 6 of 7
with the then President-elect?s advisors, Russian Of?cial told her that he did not believe the MFA
would ?go for it.?
Butina failed to notify the U.S. Attorney General that she would be acting in the United
States as an agent of a foreign government of?cial, as required by 18 U.S.C. 951. At no time
relevant to this proffer was Butina a duly accredited diplomatic or consular of?cer; an of?cially
and publicly acknowledged and sponsored of?cial or representative of the Russian Federation; or
an of?cially and publicly acknowledged and sponsored staff member, employee, or representative
Finally, if this case had proceeded to trial, the government would have shown that Butina
took one or more actions in furtherance of the conspiracy from within the District of Columbia.
Case Document 66 Filed 12/13/18 Page 7 of 7
The preceding statement is a summary made for the purpose of providing the Court with a
factual basis for my guilty plea to the charge against me. I make this statement knowingly and
voluntarily, and I stipulate and agree that this Statement of Offense concerning my actions is true
and accurate. I have read every page of this Statement of Offense and have discussed it with my
attorneys Robert Driscoll and Alfred Carry. I am fully satis?ed with the legal services provided to
me in connection with this plea. No threats have been made to me nor am I under the in?uence of
anything that could impede my ability to understand this Statement of Offense fully.
Date: 1.1. 8. Mg
Mariiuagftlih?aTa/k/a Maria Butina
I have read this Statement of Offense and have reviewed it with my client fully. I concur
in my client?s desire to adopt and stipulate to this Statement of Offense as true and accurate.
7/5 we ngg?
Attorney for Defendant
Attorney for Defendant