TODAY   |  July 09, 2010

Spy’s lawyer: Chapman ‘far less involved’

Robert Baum, the lawyer for admitted Russian spy Anna Chapman, claims his client did not play a large role in the recently busted espionage ring, saying she never had face-to-face meetings with other operatives and never exchanged money.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> robert vaughn served as anna chapman 's attorney. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> of all the suspects in this alleged spy ring your client is by far the most recognizable. her face has been plastered all over the tabloids. people have come to know her as the red haired divorcee and fem if femme fatalle who could have stepped out of a james bond movie . who is anna chapman ?

>> anna chapman is who she says she is, a businesswoman who established a business in moscow and brought that business to new york.

>> an internet real estate business?

>> yes.

>> she did admit to guilt yesterday. she did admit she is a russian spy . in your opinion, is she?

>> she admitted to guilt after anything about what her alternatives were and at the time she admitted to guilt one of her alternatives was to stay in solitary confinement for the next six months to a year awaiting trial.

>> are you saying, mr. baum, she did not communicate by computer with an official in russia ?

>> no, she actually did. she admitted her guilt, that she is guilty. but her conduct satisfies the minimum level of guilt in this case, different than the kind of conduct alleged that anyone else committed in the case.

>> what exactly did she do and how did she get involved in this?

>> what she didn't do, she had no face-to-face meetings with any member of the russian federation . she didn't accept any money. she didn't pass any documents.

>> so what was she doing?

>> what she did simply what she was accused of doing, on a fairly basis having laptop communications with a member of the russian embassy.

>> to share what information?

>> i can tell you without specifying the nature of the information or the exact information she shared it was mott any secrets. it was everyday information about this country.

>> and why would she get involved? again, i don't understand that. she comes here, has been here six months. you say she's a businesswoman. she has this real estate business.

>> that's not a question i can answer. that's only a question anna can answer for you.

>> there's been reporting that her father served in russian intelligence , working in various embassies around the world. do you know anything about what he did and whether he has any connection to her involvement here with that russian official?

>> i spoke to miss chapman about it and i actually spoke to her family in russia about it, and they deny that her father has any connection to secret service or intelligence. her father was an embassy official who served in two embassies in africa for the russian federation and my understanding was he dealt with visas.

>> was she scared yesterday?

>> i think she was relieved. she was relieved to get it over and very happy about getting out of jail.

>> and she's on her way to russia . has the russian government made any promises to her about what's next for her or her safety when she gets there?

>> they've made no promises. she's not concerned about her safety. she was born in russia . her family is there. they've made no promises about anything that they would give her. they're not giving her anything.

>> so what does she expect to do there when she gets there?

>> she expects to continue her business that she started in moscow and perhaps take it to another country.

>> and finally what would she make of all this attention? what has she made of all this attention?

>> in solitary confinement she knew nothing of the attention she received. she was shocked. she was surprised and somewhat embarrassed by all the attention.

>> mr. baum, thank you for joining us this morning. it's been a crazy few days