Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., told Newsmax on Friday that he wants "an answer" as to why American Marc Fogel, who was arrested and imprisoned in Russia for possession of medical marijuana, has not been granted wrongfully detained status.
"What shocks me about this case is that there's basically the same situation and same factual pattern that [Brittney] Griner had, getting caught bringing in medical marijuana. Very small amount — we're talking about, ounces," Reschenthaler told "Wake Up America."
"And then the difference here, though, is how Griner was treated and how Fogel was treated; again, Fogel being the history teacher from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Griner was put on what's called wrongfully detained status by the State Department within a matter of weeks."
He added: "Fogel, who's been detained longer than Griner was, remember, he got detained in August of 2021, he's still not on wrongfully detained status. So I want an answer.
"I want to know why the State Department … has not declared him wrongfully detained, which would then make him eligible for a prisoner swap."
When asked if Americans are less safe abroad, Reschenthaler said, "There’s always been that risk when Americans travel to solitary regimes, communist regimes, North Korea, Russia, Iran, for example. Iran, for example.
"But this now makes the price of Americans even higher, especially, and these are the unintended consequences of this deal, especially if you're a celebrity or anybody that has status within the left and the Democratic Party."
He later added, "but I want to be clear: I'm celebrating the fact that Griner was brought home. What I'm very upset about is how slow the administration has been to act on [Paul] Whelan and Fogel and also that we gave up Viktor Bout for a 1-to-1 deal. Not three for one."
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