23:34 GMT29 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The White House should hand over all records documenting any ties between National Security Adviser John Bolton and Russian citizen Maria Butina, US Congressional Democrats said in a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Monday.

    The demand comes after US media reports revealed that in 2013, Bolton, who was then the head of the National Rifle Association's (NRA) Subcommittee on International Affairs, produced a video with Butina, a longtime gun rights advocate. Butina was arrested in Washington, DC in July on suspicion of acting as an agent for the foreign government. She firmly denies the accusations.

    "Given the alarming and unprecedented nature of these revelations — and the high-level position of trust Mr Bolton now holds — we request that you produce documents relating to whether Mr. Bolton reported his previous work with this alleged Russian spy on his security clearance forms or other White House vetting materials prior to President Trump appointing him to his current position," Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Stephen Lynch said in their letter to Kelly.

    The letter, citing reports from the New York Times, National Public Radio and Foreign Policy, noted that Bolton participated in a roundtable discussion on gun rights that was organized by Butina and sponsored by her Russia-based organization known as Right to Bear Arms.

    Butina, 29, is a student from Russia, who has recently graduated from American University in Washington DC with a Master’s Degree in International Relations. Russia has strongly criticized the US government for detaining Butina, and has characterized the charges against her as "clearly groundless."

    READ MORE: Russian Diplomats Urgently Visit Butina After Transfer to New US Jail

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has called the situation unacceptable. The Russian Embassy in the United States on Friday stressed that the young woman was experiencing psychological pressure in prison, including frequent nighttime checks, strip checks and inadequate medical care.


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