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[UPDATE] U.S. Department of Justice Opposed Bout’s Release


The U.S. Department of Justice opposed the release of U.S.-convicted Russian citizen Viktor Bout, but eventually had to concede to Joe Biden’s decision to swap him for U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, CNN said on Thursday citing sources familiar with discussions.

Bout was swapped for Griner earlier on Thursday. The U.S. side initially insisted that Russia included Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia for espionage, into the swap alongside with Griner.

According to the CNN report, the U.S. Department of Justice always opposed Bout’s release due to the severity of charges against him, including when his possible exchange was negotiated by Russian and US officials earlier this year.

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Restored Republic via a GCR: Update as of December 9, 2022

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