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00:00:00
>> Tom Clancy couldn't have scripted a more inconspicuous or opulent hideaway for a pack of Russian spies in the quaint town of Centerville, on Maryland's Eastern Shore. But as President Obama shut down their Moscow on the Chesapeake compound in the retaliation for the 2016 campaign hacking spree, reporter June-Torbati was there Friday morning as the Kremlin operatives met a noon deadline to vacant and left behind a town full of astonished locals.
00:00:27
>> Really beautiful part of Maryland, very scenic. And it's a 45-acre estate. It's valued at about $8 million according to property records. And it has a really large red brick Georgian mansion. It has tennis courts, a swimming pool and cottages for embassy staff to stay in whenever they come to visit.
00:00:48
But the Russian officials tend to use the facility on weekends and for summer retreats. It's sort of like a place that they can go to get away from DC. They would host pretty large parties there for Labor Day and in May to celebrate the Russian victory over the Nazis in World War II.
00:01:05
People were aware that the facility was owned by Russians, they would see Russian officials around town every once in a while, but they didn't believe that they were spies. They just assumed they were diplomats. And a lot of people kinda told us, look, we saw them partying. We saw them having fun in the water, going jetskiing, inner tubing.
00:01:24
We don't really see them as spies per se, so we were sort of staked out as the Russian officials were being basically forced to leave by US State Department agents. They came out around 11:30 on Friday morning in a convoy of about a dozen vehicles with diplomatic plates.
00:01:44
And there were vans, there was a bus including a lot of people. And there were some black sedans, trucks carrying their things packed up with boxes. And we saw these officials, including men and women sort of middle-aged. Some of them waved at us as they drove by. They sorta looked kinda curious and they were on their way.
00:02:07
And as far as we can tell, there's no indication that President Obama will lift that expulsion before he leaves office on January 20th. Of course, it is up to the incoming president, President-elect Donald Trump. He could maintain the closure of this facility or he could reopen it, and that's something that he hasn't given indication exactly what he might do on that or if he'll take any action.