Can the U.S. government force a private citizen to be interrogated by a foreign power? (aka Russia)

I’m reading about the reactions of people to Trump’s seeming agreement with Putin that he might consider providing US citizens to answer the Russian government’s questions. The first thing that came to my mind was “yeah but how can Trump give permission for something like that, don’t the people in question have to agree?”

The way the news reports portray it, it seems like people are being spoken for and have absolutely no say in the matter, like they’re children. What are the laws regarding this. I mean, was this Trump saying “sure, you can talk to anyone you want, if they’ll talk to you. I’m not stopping you.” or are we talking about some kind of coercion? (I can’t even imagine such a thing would be legal).

What was Trump agreeing to? I can find no reference on the internet to the legality of a head of our state offering up a private citizen to “talk” without asking their permission first.

Well, extradition is a thing (although Putin isn’t in a position to use that to his advantage).

Extradition is for crimes. What crimes are we talking about? How can someone be “handed over” without a trial or their consent?

Extraordinary rendition is a thing, and has a history of being used by the U.S. government. So, yes, they can do it. What did you expect?

This headline: “Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials” makes it sound like it is in the realm of possibility, although to me it sounds ridiculous. I could be wrong, hence my question here. By what law could the US government do this to a citizen?

That’s not legal, and it’s not the same thing as what I’m talking about here. Please no sarcastic whataboutism here, this is a serious question.

Obviously by no law. I guess for people currently employed by the Feds they could be fired if they refuse. But if I don’t wanna talk to some KGB interrogators, there’s no law that says I have to. Sure, they could kidnap me and ship me over to Russia in handcuffs with a bag over my head, but that’s against the law.

Whether it’s legal or not, United States officials have done it. For instance, they sent a Canadian in transit in New York to Syria, knowing that he would be tortured, and knowing that he had the right to return to Canada from New York. It was entirely against his will. Read about Maher Arar.

So it’s not “whataboutism”. It’s a previous action of the United States government, turning a person over to a foreign country from the United States, against his will and illegally.

In any thread asking if the United States would turn someone over to a foreign country against their will, extraordinary rendition is a factor to consider.

I’m not saying that this was a reasonable thing for the US to do, but he also wasn’t a US citizen, which makes a difference (I hope).

Does “interrogation” here mean what I think it means (torture)?

Also, WTF?

Well, sure… except if that is the case, shouldn’t the President of the United States dismiss it out of hand, instead of saying, “Really great offer from Vlad! I’ll have to think about it!”

Citizenship is not a foolproof protection against the US government. If they want you badly enough, no on-paper law matters. The US has a long history of disregarding its own laws and treaties and international conventions when it wants something bad enough.

Illegal deportation of a citizen with no consequence…

Illegal assassination of a US citizen with no consequence…

When a bad-faith politician in power claims “national security,” really, anything will fly, especially when a Republican leader is backed by a Republican Congress; civil rights are not among their priorities.

The US and Russia have a treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance. They don’t have an extradition treaty. So there’s a procedure to exchange requests to question people in Russia/US who are being investigated by authorities in US/Russia and US/Russian officials to attend the questioning if so. There’s nothing about ‘handing over’, which would be extradition, and nothing that says either side must respond positively to any particular request of the other side. Nor (obviously) is there any official quid pro quo that says Russia agreeing to such a request for 12 people means the US has to for 12 people.

The reference is a semi-clever debating tactic by Putin, ‘why doesn’t Mueller make such a request? And then we will’. It just got more of a reaction than the sardonic look he might have expected in return from another US pres. ‘OK we’ll look into that’. :rolleyes:

But let’s assume for a moment it was a US citizen who actually had committed a straight up crime in Russia, no politics, and the Russians had believable evidence. All the US authorities could do is ask that person to come for an interview. The person could refuse as it regarded that particular matter (that is, not counting any other leverage the US authorities might have as a result say of other things the person might have done they could prosecute in the US)

Except in this case the issue isn’t about US interests, but about Russian interests. We haven’t handed Gulen over to Turkey because even if we were willing to violate his rights it’s not in our interests to just hand him over to Turkey. Same thing with the people that Russia wants to interrogate. It might be in Russia’s interests, but I don’t see how it’s in US interests to hand over Americans to be interrogated by Russians. Of course the only reason we’re even talking about this is because Trump seems to care more about Russian interests than he does American interests.

Wait, there’s still a difference?