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    Brittney Griner’s Guilty Plea Could Lead To Prisoner Swap

    Griner Pleads Guilty

    WNBA star Brittney Griner finally appeared in court last Friday after being detained for over four months and accused of drug charges. Griner pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession and smuggling. While speaking to the Russian judge she expressed her actions were unintentional. The guilty plea is claimed to be a strategy that could possibly encourage a prisoner swap, a widely discussed solution.

    In exchange for Griner’s freedom, Moscow asks for the release of Viktor Bout. Bout is serving a 25-year prison sentence. In 2011 the Russian arms dealer Bout, sold millions of weapons to a terrorist group that killed Americans. This trade could possibly be denied by the Justice Department, but the U.S. government contemplates on the releasing of two Russians prisoners in U.S. custody for both Griner and Paul Whelan (detained in Russia since 2018).

    Letter to Joe Biden

    In addition to Griner’s lawyers’ guilty plea plan, a letter was handwritten to Biden on Monday, July 4. In the letter Griner expressed her fear, begging Biden to help her as well as other Americans detained in Russia. She also mentioned her father who was in the U.S military, her freedom in correlation to July 4th and her pessimistic thoughts of possibly being there forever.

    As a result Biden spoke with Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner. He ensured her that he will do everything he can to bring Griner home as soon as possible. Biden’s National Security team and Griner’s family are in constant contact and continue to seek to resolve the issue.

    The president is also assisting Griner’s family with all matters they may be struggling with. After conversing with Griner’s wife and family, Biden plans to respond and send a letter back to Griner.

    Updates Moving Forward

    Griner remains in custody awaiting her next trial date on July 14. A solution to getting her home is unlikely until the ending of her trial which could take up to a few weeks. Unfortunately, the Russian court extended Griner’s detention through December 20.

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