Maria Butina

Key takeaways from Russian agent Maria Butina's "60 Minutes" interview

Russian citizen Maria Butina (R) is pictured at the Sheremetyevo International Airport upon arrival from the United States; Russian citizen Butina was arrested by the FBI in July 2018 in Washington DC
Maria Butina at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport after being deported from the U.S. following her Oct. 25 release from prison. Photo: Mikhail Japaridze/TASS via Getty Images

Convicted Russian agent Maria Butina spoke with "60 Minutes" on accusations that she was trying to influence U.S. policies and the NRA for the Kremlin in an interview broadcast Sunday. And she outlined why she asked then-presidential candidate Donald Trump about Russian sanctions at a 2015 event.

Senate Finance Democrats say NRA acted as Russian asset in 2016 lead-up

The headquarters of the NRA, with the letters NRA written on top of the building.
Photo: Matt McClain for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee say the National Rifle Association acted as a Russian asset during the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, offering the promise of political access to elected officials in the U.S. in exchange for business deals, per the findings of an 18-month investigation.

Why it matters: Tax-exempt organizations are barred from using funds for the personal benefit of their officials, or for actions significantly outside their stated missions. The revelations in the report raise questions about whether the NRA could face civil penalties or the loss of its tax-exempt status.