The Biden Administration is now offering to swap a pair of Americans imprisoned in Russia for a notorious arms dealer.
As National Review reports:
The Biden administration has offered to exchange a Russian arms trafficker currently serving prison time in the U.S. for two Americans detained in Russia, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.
President Joe Biden backed the prisoner swap after months of discussion within his administration, potentially setting up a win before the midterms, CNN reported Wednesday, citing several unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
The Department of Justice typically doesn’t support prisoner swaps, but DOJ officials eventually joined State Department and top White House officials in their plan to swap Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for the two American prisoners.
Bout, who is known as the “Merchant of Death” was sentenced in 2012 to 25 years in prison on four counts of conspiring to kill Americans, acquiring and exporting anti-aircraft missiles, and providing material support to a terrorist organization.
Bout was originally arrested during a sting operation in 2008 at which time he was accused of smuggling weapons to the Colombian terrorist group with the intention of killing Americans.