Ryan Lucas

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Updated at 11:47 a.m. ET

A Russian woman who plotted to infiltrate conservative political circles and open back channel lines of communication as part of an unofficial influence campaign was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday.

Maria Butina pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to act as a Russian agent in the U.S. without registering with the Justice Department. She faced up to five years in prison.

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At his press conference this morning, before releasing the redacted special counsel report on the 2016 election, Attorney General William Barr addressed whether or not the president obstructed justice.

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It has been roughly 22 months since special counsel Robert Mueller began his investigation into the 2016 election. Along the way, he's charged 34 people, including 25 Russians. More than seven have been found guilty of crimes.

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We're expecting a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report to be released tomorrow. Lawmakers and the public alike will get the chance to read for themselves what the special counsel unearthed, disregarded and concluded. And while fights over the report are going to keep going, this release is the culmination of investigations that go back nearly three years, reaching across continents and into President Trump's inner circle. NPR justice reporter Ryan Lucas takes us back to the beginning.

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Updated April 3 at 9:33 a.m. ET

A woman carrying two Republic of China passports has been charged after allegedly lying to Secret Service agents to gain access to President Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club while he was there last weekend.

The woman, Yujing Zhang, has been charged with making false statements and illegally entering a restricted area.

Information about her case appeared in a criminal complaint that became public on Tuesday.

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