Prosecutors Say They May Seek Gag Order for Accused Russian Agent’s Lawyer

(Bloomberg) -- Prosecutors warned the lawyer for accused Russian foreign agent Maria Butina that they may seek a gag order if he doesn’t stop talking about the case in the media.

Defense attorney Robert Neil Driscoll has repeatedly violated a local rule against making statements about "the merits of the case or the evidence" by talking to Politico, the Washington Post and the Russian news network RT, prosecutors said in a letter to the judge Thursday.

"If the government continues to encounter evidence of further violations of the rule, the government may seek relief from the court," the letter concludes.

Driscoll didn’t immediately return a call or email seeking comment.

At a July hearing, prosecutors said they were concerned about turning over millions of pages of evidence because Driscoll might publicize information that could harm the U.S. investigation. They cited Driscoll’s media appearances since Butina was indicted for conspiring to establish a back channel between Russians and American politicians.

Driscoll said at the time that his media appearances were intended to rebut U.S. allegations, including one that Butina offered to trade sex for a job. U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan warned Driscoll that she’d consider issuing a gag order if he continued to speak so often to the media.

Butina has been in U.S. custody since her July 15 arrest, after prosecutors said she had ties to Russia’s intelligence services and oligarchs who could offer her safe harbor. She denies wrongdoing.

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