A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on American officials and political organisations and working to establish back-channel lines of communications for the Kremlin, U.S. federal prosecutors charged on Monday.

The announcement of the arrest of Maria Butina came just days after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 12 Russian intelligence officials with directing a sprawling hacking effort aimed at swaying the 2016 poll.

Mr. Mueller didn’t file the charge against her, but court papers show her activities included efforts to use contacts with the National Rifle Association to develop relationships with U.S. politicians and gather intelligence for Russia. She was charged with conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian government. A federal judge in Washington ordered her jailed until a hearing set for Wednesday, according to a statement from the Justice Department and Jessie Liu, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

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