Biden administration offers convicted Russian arms dealer in exchange for Griner, Whelan

News July 27, 2022 News
Biden administration offers convicted Russian arms dealer in exchange for Griner, Whelan

From CNN | Politics by Kylie Atwood, Evan Perez and Jennifer Hansler, CNN

After months of internal debate, the Biden administration has offered to exchange Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year US prison sentence, as part of a potential deal to secure the release of two Americans held by Russia, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, according to people briefed on the matter.

These sources told CNN that the plan to trade Bout for Whelan and Griner received the backing of President Joe Biden after being under discussion since earlier this year. Biden's support for the swap overrides opposition from the Department of Justice, which is generally against prisoner trades.

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