Maria Butina

Maria Butina sentenced to 18 months in prison

In this image, Maria Butina speaks into a microphone.
Maria Butina speaks during a press conference in Moscow in 2013. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Maria Butina, the first Russian national convicted for seeking to influence U.S. politics during the 2016 campaign, was sentenced to 18 months in prison — with credit for nine months already served — on Friday.

The backdrop: Butina pled guilty last year to working with her American boyfriend, Republican operative Paul Erickson, to infiltrate the NRA and other conservative circles for the purpose of influencing U.S. policy on behalf of the Kremlin. As reported by NPR, Butina's case was handled separately from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Go deeper: The curious case of the alleged American "spy" detained in Russia

Admitted Russian agent Maria Butina to be sentenced next month

Maria Butina
Maria Butina. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Maria Butina, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a Russian agent in December 2018, will be sentenced on April 26 at 10 a.m., a federal judge said Thursday.

The big picture: Butina, who has been in jail since July 2018, had previously had her sentencing delayed as she continued to cooperate with the government. As part of her plea deal, Butina admitted to working with Russian official Alexander Torshin and her American boyfriend Paul Erickson to infiltrate conservative circles, including the NRA, for the purpose of influencing U.S. policy on behalf of the Kremlin.