Woman Accused of Being Russian Spy Attempted to Influence ’16 Election

A woman is accused of being a Russian spy, investigators say.

They say Maria Butina infiltrated the National Rifle Association and conservative organizations in an attempt to influence the 2016 election.

She appeared in a federal courtroom Wednesday on charges of conspiracy and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Officials say she came to the U.S. on a student visa.

But the government’s criminal complaint argues she was in the U.S. working on behalf of the Russian government.

Search warrants discovered evidence she had ongoing communication with Russian intelligence operatives.

Russian officials now say this arrest undermines Monday’s summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Prosecutors say Butina posed a serious flight risk and asked a judge to keep her behind bars as the case moves forward.