Congressman Sessions says he has ‘great admiration’ for Griner’s perseverance

Texas Congressman Pete Sessions and imprisoned U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner.
Texas Congressman Pete Sessions and imprisoned U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner.(Griner Photo: Associated Press)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 11:39 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX & AP) - Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas 17) on Wednesday said he hopes President Biden and the U.S. State Department secure the release of Baylor University alumna Brittney Griner, currently on trial in Russia after she was arrested on February 17 on charges of possessing cannabis oil while returning to play for her Russian team.

“I cannot imagine what Brittney, her friends, family, and teammates are going through. I have great admiration for her perseverance,” Sessions said.

“I hope the Russian Federation will judge her quickly and fairly. I know President Biden will continue to do everything in his power to ensure Brittney’s safe and expedited return to American Soil.”

Griner’s supporters have encouraged a prisoner swap like the one in April that brought home Texas Marine veteran Trevor Reed in exchange for a Russian pilot convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy.

Back in May, the U.S. Department of State designated Griner as wrongfully detained. The Associated Press reported the designation moved Griner’s case under the supervision of the State Department’s special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, effectively the government’s chief hostage negotiator.

Griner isn’t the only American being wrongfully detained in Russia. Paul Whelan, a former Marine and security director is serving a 16-year sentence on an espionage conviction.

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