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Calling for Immediate Release of Trevor Reed

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 3, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Speaker, Trevor Reed is a 29-year-old Texas resident and former United States Marine who served his country with distinction. He was an Eagle Scout and a Texas Rangers fan, a dedicated son and brother.

He is not a criminal; yet the Putin regime treated him like one, sentencing him to 9 years in a Russian prison for a crime he did not commit. In fact, Trevor was only charged with a fabricated crime after the Russian police discovered that he was a former U.S. Marine and, thus, in their eyes, a political pawn that could be used.

The evidence presented in the courtroom during his case was so flimsy that it induced laughter from those in the room, including the Russian judge. What a joke.

So I stand here today once again to call for Trevor Reed's immediate release so he can return home to his family, where he belongs.

This is an issue very close to my heart. Just a few months ago, Trevor's mother flew out to D.C. to join me and Congressman Conaway as we introduced this resolution. Paula told us how her son was attending college in pursuit of the American Dream before Putin took that away from him. And she told us how her husband, Joey Reed, spends most of his time in Russia, working every single day to bring his son home where he belongs.

As a father of five myself, I cannot imagine being in their shoes, knowing their son is suffering in a Russian prison for a crime he did not commit and feeling helpless to do anything about it.

Mr. Speaker, Paula and Joey and Trevor, they need us. They need their Congressmen and -women to fight for them today.

Passing this resolution will send a strong message to Putin and his cronies that America will not stand by idly as they hold American citizens as political pawns, including Michael Calvey and Paul Whelan. It will demonstrate that Congress stands firmly with Trevor, Paula, Joey, and their entire family, along with the other American hostages abroad, and that we will continue to fight until we bring Trevor home and give him back his future.

The holiday season is here upon us once again, and Trevor deserves to spend this Christmas with his family in the comfort of his home, not alone in a cold prison cell.

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Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, if I can take a point of personal privilege, this may be perhaps the last time I appear with my dear friend Mike Conaway on this distinguished floor. We came in together, Mr. Speaker, with you, as well. I remember it 16 years ago. My, has time gone fast.

But the time you have served, Mike, in this Congress and spoken in this Chamber, as you chaired the Agriculture Committee and served on the House Intelligence Committee, sir, let me just say how proud I am to call you a friend. You have served your country and your constituents with honor and distinction, and I am proud to have served with you and proud to call you a friend.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I thank my friend and fellow Texan, Representative Conaway, who represents the family, for introducing this important resolution.

I have engaged the highest levels of government in this case, Trevor's case, from Deputy Secretary Biegun to Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Roger Carstens.

And now I am proud to join many of my colleagues and fellow Texans from both sides of the aisle in supporting this resolution and raising more awareness about Trevor's case.

So to Trevor and the Reed family, I would just like to say to you that Texas is with you and America is with you. We will stand by you and with you here in the Congress every day until we finally bring Trevor home.

So, again, Mr. Speaker, I thank my dear friend, Congressman Conaway, who sponsored the legislation. I thank Chairman Engel.

Another point of personal privilege: I think that this will not be the last day we speak on the floor. I believe on Monday we will have another opportunity to be together, and I would love to deliver some special remarks about my favorite chairman.

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