WNBA player and long-time America hater, Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war for bringing in vape cartridges with oil derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport. She was in Russia to participate in a basketball league.
On Feb. 17 Griner was arrested at Russia’s Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow after Russian authorities found vape cartridges with cannabis oil inside her luggage. She pled guilty on August 4 and was given a nine-year sentence. Her sentence was upheld in October, after which she was transferred to a Russian penal colony.
Around 10 months after her arrest, she is now coming home as a result of a prisoner exchange deal that the White House made with Russia in exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Joe Biden tweeted about Griner’s release along with photos of Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner and Kamala Harris.
“Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner,” the tweet read. “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home.” Biden tweeted.
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022
The prisoner that the Biden administration is swapping in exchange for Griner is Viktor Bout, also known as the “Merchant of Death” he was serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans and is associated with a Colombian terrorist organization.
He notoriously ran a fleet of aging Soviet-era cargo planes to conflict-ridden places in Africa which inspired the famous Nicolas Cage film “Lord of War.”
Another American serving a prison sentence in Russia is Marine Paul Whelan. He was arrested on alleged espionage charges. Both his family claimed that the charges are baseless. He is serving a 16 year long sentence in a maximum-security prison colony in Russia.
Meet Brittney Griner & Marine Paul Whelan.
Both were convicted in Russian courts on dubious charges.
Both serving multi-year sentences in Russian prison.
Brittney hates America
Paul served America
Guess which one Biden traded a terrorist to free?
Semper fi Paul pic.twitter.com/tuP1R6AZpf
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) December 8, 2022
Whelan is a Michigan native and was arrested by Russia’s domestic intelligence service, the FSB in late December 2018. He was visiting Moscow for a friend’s wedding. He was charged with espionage and has spent almost a year and a half in Moscow’s Lefortovo jail.
Ever since his arrest, both Whelan and his family have denied the accusations that he is a spy and have accused Russia of fabricating the case against him in order to use him as a bargaining chip in its relations with the United States.
“We have proven my innocence,” Whelan told reporters from a glass cage in the courtroom, he was flanked by men in masks. “We have proven fabrication. This is slimy, greasy corrupt Russian politics, nothing more, nothing less.” He added.
What do you make of Biden’s decision to swap Brittney Griner in exchange for Viktor Bout? Share your thoughts in our Facebook comments!