SPY GAMES - After a last-minute filing flap among lawyers, sentencing for Maria Butina is set for today in D.C. federal court. Prosecutors are seeking an 18-month sentence for Butina, who pleaded guilty in December to acting as a Russian agent in order to influence U.S. politics by building relationships with gun rights activists and other conservatives. Her attorneys are seeking a sentence of time served. As Ellis Kim reports, defense attorneys earlier this week unsuccessfully tried to persuade Judge Tanya Chutkin to strike what they said was an 11th-hour effort by prosecutors to introduce a “wholly new theory of espionage activity.”
OPEN OR CLOSED? Lawyers in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case are expected in Manhattan court today to hash it out over whether alleged prior bad acts of the disgraced movie mogul will be permitted as evidence. But first, Judge James Burke is expected to decide whether he’ll close the courtroom to the public. As Colby Hamilton reports, the parties have asked the judge to do so during the evidentiary hearing over concerns that the material discussed could prejudice Weinstein’s right to a fair trial. He faces criminal counts relating to two accusers who say Weinstein assaulted them in 2006 and 2013.
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