U.S. judge in Russian arms dealer case backs Griner swap; ex-agent balks

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By Luc Cohen NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. judge who in 2012 sentenced Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison has voiced support for a deal proposed by the United States to Russia to swap him for basketball star Brittney Griner, though a federal agent involved in the case said such a trade would “belittle the rule of law.” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday he spoke by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and pressed the Kremlin to accept Washington’s proposal to secure the release of Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan. A source familiar wit…

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