US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, who will preside over the status conference scheduled for 10:00 a.m. local time (2:00 p.m. GMT), has the option of sentencing Butina to time served in which case she would be free to return to Russia.
"The hearing is to set a sentencing date", Butina's lawyer Robert Driscoll told Sputnik on Wednesday. Last month, Driscoll told reporters that Butina should be deported right after her sentencing as per the plea agreement reached with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office in December.
Butina, who initially denied the charges, agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in exchange for a lighter sentence. According to her plea agreement, she faces a maximum sentence of up to five years.
Driscoll pointed out a day before the hearing that Butina "is doing well under the circumstances and looks forward to returning home as soon as possible".
In February, Butina said in an interview she was not a Russian spy as evidenced by the fact she did not conceal her activities, which included promoting gun rights and networking with US Christian nationalists and evangelical groups. Butina was arrested in mid-July of last year and imprisoned in Washington, DC before being transferred to a detention center in Alexandria, Virginia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Butina’s indictment was unjustified because she was not charged with any mission on behalf of the Russian government.