A Russian spy whose associates tried to recruit a one-time foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump was deported on Wednesday following a prison term.
Evgeny Buryakov spent nearly a year in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent in March of last year. Two of his associates were also charged with other crimes, but did not serve any jailtime as they were covered by diplomatic immunity.
“Removing individuals like Mr. Buryakov represents ICE’s highest enforcement priority, which is protecting the national security of the United States,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer Rebecca Adducci said in a statement.
BuzzFeed on Monday confirmed with Carter Page, a one-time foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign, that he had given what he later described in a statement as “immaterial information and publicly available research documents” to one of Buryakov’s associates, Victor Podobnyy.
Page told ABC News after the story broke that “I didn’t want to be a spy,” and “I’m not a spy.” He also said his masked identity was made to be easily found out in court filings, as payback for his prior criticisms of the Obama administration.
According to the FBI’s court filings, spy recruiters were overheard speaking with Buryakov about “the attempted use of [Page] as an intelligence source for Russia.”