BREAKING: Biden Administration Allegedly Offering Russian Arms Trafficker Viktor Bout In Exchange For Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan
After several months of internal debate, the Biden administration have reportedly offered to exchange Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout in exchange for WNBA player Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. The proposed exchange is said to have the approval and backing of President Joe Biden, which overrides opposition from the Department of Justice.
“We communicated a substantial offer that we believe could be successful based on a history of conversations with the Russians,” a senior administration official told CNN Wednesday. “We communicated that a number of weeks ago, in June.”
Viktor Bout, nicknamed “Merchant of Death”, is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence that was issued back in 2010 following terrorism charges that stemmed from a U.S sting operation. On top of facing a maximum life sentence, Judge Shira Scheindlin also ordered a $15 million forfeiture.
Paul Whelan has been detained in Russia since 2018 for alleged espionage. Whelan was detained at a Moscow hotel and arrested on espionage charges. Whelan was convicted on the espionage charges in June 2020, and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. U.S officials had deemed Whelan’s trial as “unfair”.
CNN has more HERE