Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday mocked the U.S. case against alleged Russian spy Maria Butina following a Monday report that Butina will plead guilty and cooperate with American investigators.
Butina could face 15 years behind bars “for nothing,” Putin said at a meeting of Russia’s council on human rights and civil society.
“When I heard that something was happening around her…I started to ask all the heads of our secret services: who is she? Nobody knew anything about her!” Putin exclaimed with a grin.
Interrupting himself, Putin added: “this is a public event, there’s nothing for me to hide.”
ABC reported yesterday that Butina, accused of infiltrating the NRA, has agreed to plead guilty to one conspiracy charge and cooperate with the U.S. government in the case.
Butina’s longtime boyfriend – GOP operative Paul Erickson – has reportedly been informed that he is a target in the investigation.
Putin added that the “only thing” he was able to find out about Butina in the course of his investigation was that “she worked for one of the assistants” at Russia’s Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, roughly equivalent to the U.S. Senate.
“She might be sentenced to 15 for this,” Putin added. “What’s that all about?”