Butina Attorneys Withdraw Graduate School Subpoena

In this courtroom sketch, Maria Butina, next to her attorney Robert Driscoll, pleads guilty on Dec. 13, 2018, at a hearing in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. (Dana Verkouteren via AP)

WASHINGTON (CN) – On the heels of Maria Butina’s admission that she was spying for Russia when she enrolled in a U.S. grad school, defense attorneys agreed Friday to withdraw their subpoena of American University.

Butina’s attorneys sent the subpoena on Nov. 15 to American University’s general counsel, seeking evidence that Butina’s enrollment was legitimate in the face of charges that she was in the United States as an unregistered foreign agent. 

Among other things, the subpoena sought notes about the school’s investigations of Butina, as well as her complaints about a professor and rosters of each class she took at the university.

The subpoena generated multiple petitions to quash, however, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said she put it on hold Thursday at a hearing where 30-year-old Butina pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Butina’s attorney, Robert Driscoll with McGlinchey Stafford, had noted at the same hearing that he hoped to keep the subpoena alive so they could use the information it produced at sentencing.

But Driscoll revealed Friday that he will now pull back the request.

“After further review and consultation with the Office of General Counsel for American University, as encouraged by the court, defendant Maria Butina, by counsel, files this notice to inform the court and counsel that she hereby withdraws the subpoena,” the 1-page filing states.    

Butina has agreed to cooperate with the government as part of her plea agreement and is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 12.

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