Rep. Wenstrup Statement on Biden Administration's Exchange of 'Merchant of Death' & Convicted International Arms Dealer for Brittney Griner

Press Release

Date: Dec. 8, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Brad Wenstrup released the following statement upon the Biden administration's prisoner exchange with Russia of convicted international arms dealer Viktor Bout for U.S. citizen Brittney Griner:

"The Biden administration continues to leave U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan behind in captivity in Russia. I am happy that Griner's family has her back in the U.S., but I am also disheartened to see the Biden administration continue to allow Putin to use American citizens as pawns in a hostage-taking scheme where Americans are detained in Russia for minor or trumped-up charges in exchange for international war criminals like Viktor Bout," said Rep. Wenstrup. "Bout is one of the world's most prolific arms dealers -- called the "Merchant of Death' and convicted for conspiring to kill Americans -- and now, due to the Biden administration's seemingly one-sided negotiations, he is back on the streets. This isn't tough negotiating, and it makes the United States look weak on the world stage."