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Biden's Release of the 'Merchant of Death' Backfires as It's Revealed What He's Up to in Russia

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The man dubbed the “Merchant of Death,” who President Joe Biden traded in a prisoner swap for a U.S. basketball player convicted in Russia on drug charges, is now going on to try and gain more influence in his country after announcing a run for political office there.

Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who was jailed in the U.S. in 2010 and eventually convicted of arming a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, among other charges, served about ten years of his 25-year sentence before Joe Biden intervened to exchange him for WNBA player Brittney Griner.

But in 2022, Biden released Bout from federal custody and let him return to Russia, where he received a hero’s welcome.

Now, he is positioning himself to gain even more power and influence after announcing a run for office as a member of Russia’s ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, Reuters has reported.

“Bout had been nominated as a candidate for the legislative assembly of the Ulyanovsk region in central Russia,” the wire service said.

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Upon his return to Russia, Bout quickly joined the LDPR, a party that holds far-right, ultra-nationalist views and strongly supports President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In December, Bout even told the media that he supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said he might even volunteer for service, though he never did so.

“I fully support, if I had the opportunity and the skills necessary, I would, of course, volunteer,” Bout told Russia Today according to TACC.

Bout is now positioning himself as a politician who will further bellicose Russian nationalism and belligerence now that Biden has returned him to Russia.

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Bout is not the only notorious member of the LDPR. Party member Andrei Lugovoi, who has served in Russia’s national parliament since 2007, is wanted in the U.K. for the 2006 murder of ex-KGB officer and Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko, Reuters reported.

Viktor “Merchant of Death” Bout was arrested by U.S. agents during a sting in Thailand in 2008 and extradited him to the U.S., where he was charged with conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to kill American officers or employees, conspiring to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile, illegal purchase of aircraft, wire fraud, and money laundering.

“The U.S. Department of Justice described him as one of the world’s most prolific arms dealers who had sold weapons across the globe to terrorists and America’s enemies for decades. Bout always denied the charges,” Reuters added.

He was convicted by a jury at a federal court in Manhattan in 2012 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

However, in July of 2022, the Biden administration offered Bout in exchange for Griner, and by December of that year, he was placed on a plane headed to Moscow.

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Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport early in 2022 and charged with possession and importation of illegal drugs for having a vape cartridge infused with cannabis, which is completely illegal in Russia.

She was placed in jail and eventually convicted on the charges. She was handed a hefty nine-year prison sentence and was denied an appeal. Griner spent nearly ten months in a Russian jail waiting on the Biden administration to arrange some sort of prisoner swap.

Since returning to the U.S., Griner said she had a different view of the country and said she would no longer protest against the U.S.A. during the playing of the national anthem, as she did in the years before being arrested and jailed in Russia.

But, she also blasted the WNBA for not paying for her private fights in the wake of meeting a heckler in a U.S. airport.

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Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN and several local Chicago news programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Huston has also been a Breitbart News contributor since 2009. Warner works out of the Chicago area, a place he calls a "target-rich environment" for political news. Follow him on Truth Social at @WarnerToddHuston.
Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN and several local Chicago news programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Huston has also been a Breitbart News contributor since 2009. Warner works out of the Chicago area, a place he calls a "target-rich environment" for political news.




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