Biden Administration Offers Convicted Firearms Dealer Viktor Trade in Exchange for Brittney Griner & Paul Whelan

Looks like the Biden administration made an offer in hopes of getting the WNBA star Brittney Griner home, and Paul Whelan, who was arrested in Russia in 2018. Theo CNNauthorities have offered a deal to trade convicted Russian arms dealers Viktor Boutwho is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the US

Sources close to the matter revealed to CNN that the deal had received the backing of President Biden after being discussed for some time. His support for the trade overturned the Justice Department’s criticism of the prisoner trade.

A senior administration official told CNN,

“We have announced an important offer that we believe can be successful based on the history of conversations with the Russians. We announced that a few weeks ago, in June. “

The senior management official added,

“It takes two to play tango. We started all the negotiations to bring home Americans who were taken hostage or wrongly held with a bad guy on the other side. We started all this with someone who took a human being as an American and treated them as a bargaining chip. So, in some ways, it’s not surprising, even if it’s disappointing, that those actors don’t necessarily respond to our requests directly, don’t engage constructively. into negotiations”.

For a time, the United States avoided engaging in prisoner trafficking due to concerns that other countries would detain Americans and use that as a bargaining chip.

As previously reported, back in April, the former Marine Trevor Reed was freed from Russia after the United States organized an exchange for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot who had served time on cocaine smuggling charges. After that exchange, many others questioned whether the government would conduct another exchange.

On Wednesday, Brittney appeared in court and testified that when she was detained in February, she was provided with a language interpreter while in custody, however, the interpreter only partially translated. what was said to her while she was being held for questioning. She also shared that she was not given an explanation of her rights nor an attorney, and that she was instructed to sign documents without receiving an explanation of what she signed.

Earlier this month, she pleaded guilty to drug charges but made it clear she had no intention of breaking the law when a vape box containing cannabis oil was found in her luggage.

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