08:43 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Michael McFaul, the US Ambassador to the Russian Federation, gives an interview at the US Embassy in Moscow (File)

    Turning Over Ex-US Envoy McFaul to Russia 'Beyond Belief' - Senator

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Trump administration's possible decision to let Russian law enforcement question former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and other Americans in a criminal case is absurd and must not be considered, Senator Patrick Leahy said in a press release on Thursday.

    "It is beyond belief that the White House would even contemplate the ludicrous notion of turning over to Russian President Putin a former US ambassador [McFaul]," Leahy wrote in the press release. "The administration needs to immediately and unequivocally reverse course."

    On Tuesday, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said it wants to question McFaul, two senior US State Department officials and other US citizens in connection to the criminal case against Hermitage Capital head William Browder.

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    The initiative was first voiced by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.

    Leahy said Trump's actions have already damaged the Trump administration's credibility, and he urged the US president not to cave to Putin's "ongoing efforts to undermine the United States."

    Putin noted during the press conference in Helsinki that Russia would allow US investigators to take part in the questioning of 12 Russian citizens indicted by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller for conspiracy to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election if the United States allows Russia to question of US citizens involved in criminal cases.

    Putin also said during the press conference that Browder's business partners illegally earned more than $1.5 billion in Russia and sent $400 million to Hillary Clinton's election campaign.

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    Tags:
    testimony, questioning, Donald Trump, Michael McFaul, United States, Russia
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