Letter to the Hon. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States - Engel Leads Congressional Effort to Secure the Release of Detained Journalist Austin Tice


By: Joe Manchin III, Tammy Baldwin, Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Patrick Leahy, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Marsha Blackburn, John Thune, Jack Reed, Pat Toomey, Bob Casey, Jr., James Lankford, Jim Inhofe, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jacky Rosen, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, Ben Sasse, Deb Fischer, Thom Tillis, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Tina Smith, Amy Klobuchar, Angus King, Jr., Susan Collins, Chris Van Hollen, Jr., Jerry Moran, Mike Braun, Tammy Duckworth, Dick Durbin, Joni Ernst, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Johnny Isakson, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Chris Coons, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet, Dianne Feinstein, Kyrsten Sinema, Tom Cotton, Doug Jones, Dan Sullivan, Lisa Murkowski, Liz Cheney, Mark Pocan, Adam Smith, Derek Kilmer, Abigail Spanberger, John Curtis, Brian Babin, Lloyd Doggett II, Filemon Vela, Jr., Colin Allred, Henry Cuellar, Michael Cloud, Michael Burgess, Will Hurd, Sheila Jackson Lee, Veronica Escobar, Vicente Gonzalez, Randy Weber, Sr., Michael McCaul, Al Green, Kevin Brady, Ron Wright, Lance Gooden, John Ratcliffe, Van Taylor, Dan Crenshaw, Steve Cohen, Tim Burchett, Joe Wilson, Sr., Jenniffer González-Colón, GT Thompson, Jr., Guy Reschenthaler, Brendan Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Mike Turner, Steve Chabot, Nita Lowey, Adriano Espaillat, Max Rose, Yvette Clarke, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Thomas Suozzi, Susie Lee, Deb Haaland, Don Payne, Jr., Albio Sires, Tom Malinowski, Chris Smith, Jeff Van Drew, Chris Pappas, Donald Bacon, Michael Guest, Roger Wicker, Emanuel Cleaver II, Vicky Hartzler, Ann Wagner, Ilhan Omar, Debbie Dingell, Haley Stevens, Paul Mitchell, Andy Levin, Elissa Slotkin, Dan Kildee, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, Steny Hoyer, Anthony Brown, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch, Seth Moulton, Lori Trahan, Jim McGovern, Steve Scalise, Hal Rogers, Steven Watkins, Jr., Pete Visclosky, Cheri Bustos, Adam Kinzinger, Mike Bost, Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis, Cindy Axne, Barry Loudermilk, Rob Woodall, Hank Johnson, Jr., Donna Shalala, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Francis Rooney, Greg Steube, Stephanie Murphy, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Eleanor Norton, Jim Himes, Jason Crow, Scott Tipton, Mike Levin, Harley Rouda, Alan Lowenthal, Katie Porter, Gil Cisneros, Karen Bass, Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff, Julia Brownley, Kevin McCarthy, Zoe Lofgren, Ro Khanna, Jim Costa, Jackie Speier, Mike Thompson, Jared Huffman, Doug LaMalfa, Tom O'Halleran, French Hill, Donald Young, Eliot Engel
Date: Sept. 27, 2019
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs

Dear President Trump:

It has now been more than seven years since Austin Tice, a veteran Marine Corps Captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was detained at a checkpoint near Damascus, Syria while working in the country as a freelance journalist. This talented young man is an Eagle Scout who began college at the University of Houston at the age of 16, received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, proudly served his country as a Marine, and was about to begin his final year at Georgetown University Law Center. At the time of his capture, Austin was preparing to return home after having spent the summer covering the suffering of the Syrian people as a freelance reporter. Austin's lifelong dedication to serving others represents the best of our country's ideals and values.

The Tice family and your own administration are confident that Austin is alive. We strongly urge that you continue to use the full weight of your national security team -- including dispatching the Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs -- to secure his release. Seven years is simply too long for Austin to be separated from his loved ones.

The recent releases of American Sam Goodwin and Canadian Kristian Baxter from their captivity in Syria are encouraging developments. These events lead us to believe that there is a strong prospect of finally securing Austin's safe return.

Congress remains united in our commitment to supporting any and all constructive efforts to bring Austin home to his family. We urge you to make Austin's immediate and safe return a priority.