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House members urge Russia once more to immediately release Trevor Reed, imprisoned Marine vet

March 4, 2021

A resolution urging Russia to free imprisoned U.S. Marine Corps veteran Trevor R. Reed was reintroduced Wednesday by Republican members of the House of Representatives from his home state of Texas.

Rep. August Pfluger offered the bipartisan resolution with the support of two dozen co-sponsors, mostly fellow Texas Republicans, requesting the “immediate release” of Mr. Reed from Russian custody.

Mr. Reed, a Fort Worth native who attended school in California, is serving a nine-year prison sentence after being convicted of charges he drunkenly assaulted two police officers in Moscow in 2019.

Mr. Reed has denied attacking the officers and described his conviction as politically motivated. His supporters in the U.S. State Department, House and Senate hold the same assessment.

“These charges were clearly politically motivated, and the entire process has been a sham,” Mr. Pfluger said in a statement. “We cannot tolerate American citizens being used as political pawns.”

“They took him hostage,” added Rep. Michael McCaul, another Texas Republican and the GOP’s ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “They had a kangaroo court trial,” he said on CNN.

In addition to Mr. Pfluger and Mr. McCaul, the House resolution is co-sponsored by 15 other Republican members of the Texas delegation, including Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Chip Roy, among others.

Additional co-sponsors of the resolution include seven Democrats — six from Texas and one from Hawaii — as well as House Republican Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California.

Mr. McCarthy said in a statement that Mr. Reed honorably served his country, adding that “the unjust way he has been brutalized by the Russian judicial system has been nothing short of cruel.”

The House passed a resolution last year calling on Russia to free Mr. Reed, although a companion resolution proposed in the Senate ultimately died in committee during the 116th Congress. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, reintroduced that resolution last month, however.