Biden promises Griner's wife he'll get the WNBA star freed from Russia

Biden reassures Griner family that she will be released.

Updated: July 6, 2022 - 4:06pm

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President Biden spoke Wednesday with the wife of WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia, and reassured her that he working hard to gain Griner's freedom.  

Griner sent a letter to Biden, which the president received Monday, asking him and others in his administration "not forget about me and the other American Detainees," according to the Associated Press.

"As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever," Griner also wrote in the letter, shared with the news media by her representatives.

Griner, who plays in the off-season in Russia, was arrested in February at Moscow-area airport for allegedly having hash oil, perhaps in a vape, in her luggage.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. 

"The president called Cherelle [Griner] to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world,” the White House said in a statement. "He also read her a draft of the letter the president is sending to Brittney Griner today.”

Russian criminal cases are unlikely to be acquitted as 1% of defendants are granted it. 

It has been almost five month since the the arrest of Griner, also a U.S. Olympic athlete.