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Gary Peters urges WH to negotiate the release of US hostage

Flickr User Jeff Keenan

 U-S Senator Gary Peters wants the White House to dispatch one of its top security officials to negotiate the release of a Michigan man im-prisoned by Russia on charges of spying.

Russia detained Michigan native Paul Whelan last December, accusing him of possessing confidential material.

Whelan denies the charge. Speaking through a glass partition at a hearing last week, Whelan told the BBC he was set up by a Russian intelligence officer.

Members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation – including Senator Gary Peters -- recently demanded Russia release Whelan, or produce the evidence against him.

Now Peters is calling on President Trump to use the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs to negotiate on behalf of Whelan.

Trump used a special envoy to bargain for the release of a rap star jailed in Sweden.

But the president has said nothing publicly about Whelan, even after the Michigan native pleaded from prison for Trump to intervene.