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Paul Whelan’s Brother Praises the Biden Administration for Their Handling of the Griner/Bout Prisoner Swap  

Photo: Mladen Antonov / Getty Images
Photo: Mladen Antonov / Getty Images

DETROIT, December 12, 2022 ~ David Whelan, the twin brother of Russian-imprisoned former US Marine Paul Whelan, spoke Monday on “The Paul W. Smith Show” about how he learned of the US / Russian prisoner swap that brought home WNBA star Brittney Griner while leaving his brother behind bars.

They sent someone to speak to our sister up in Massachusetts,” David told Paul W.  “I can’t tell you what that meant to the family to be able to process the disappointment about Paul not coming home … the anger towards the Kremlin at his continued imprisonment, and also the joy for the Griner family. To be able to do all of that in private was such a gift.

It really shows that the White House has started to … evolve how they deal with detainee families, because that isn’t what happened back in April when Trevor Reed came home and Paul didn’t.


December 12, 2022 ~ David Whelan, Paul Whelan‘s twin brother, talks to Paul W. about Brittney Griner‘s release from a Russian prison, and he says his family has been told that the US continues to work hard on his brother’s release. Photo: Jack Gruber / USA TODAY

(CONTINUED) The Biden Administration has asserted that the recent prisoner swap did not involve a choice of which American to bring home. According to a senior administration official, the choice was to bring home Griner, or bring home no one. When asked last week about Whelan, President Biden said that the US would “never give up” on him.

Paul Whelan, a former Michigan police officer and Michigan resident, was detained by Russian authorities back in December of 2018 under charges that he was involved in a US intelligence operation. He was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian penal colony through a trial that the US has labeled a sham.