[Congressional Record Volume 166, Number 204 (Thursday, December 3, 2020)]
[House]
[Pages H6090-H6092]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




              CALLING FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF TREVOR REED

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the 
resolution (H. Res. 1115) calling for the immediate release of Trevor 
Reed, a United States citizen who was unjustly sentenced to 9 years in 
a Russian prison, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
  The text of the resolution is as follows:

                              H. Res. 1115

       Whereas United States citizen Trevor Reed is a resident of 
     Granbury, Texas, and a United States Marine Corps veteran;
       Whereas Trevor Reed traveled to Moscow to visit his 
     girlfriend on May 16, 2019;
       Whereas Moscow's Police Service detained Trevor Reed on 
     August 16, 2019;
       Whereas Trevor Reed was accused of grabbing the arm of the 
     police officer driving the vehicle and elbowing another 
     officer while en route to the police station, causing the 
     vehicle to swerve and therefore endangering the lives of the 
     police officers;
       Whereas the United States Embassy in Moscow has filed 
     numerous diplomatic complaints with the Russian Foreign 
     Ministry regarding Trevor Reed being denied consular access, 
     communications, medical treatment, family visitations, and 
     other violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular 
     Relations;
       Whereas Trevor Reed's defense team presented video evidence 
     from traffic camera footage to the courts that disproves the 
     police officers' statements of supposed endangerment and 
     wrongdoing;
       Whereas Trevor Reed's defense team was denied access to 
     additional video evidence from the police vehicle and police 
     station that had the potential to prove his innocence;
       Whereas the police officers claimed emotional and physical 
     damages, but did not sustain any visible injury, or claim any 
     time missed from work;
       Whereas the Constitutional Supreme Court of the Russian 
     Federation and the Second Court of Cassation of General 
     Jurisdiction concurred that Russian procedural law was 
     violated in the way that Trevor Reed's bail was revoked;
       Whereas the United States Embassy in Moscow has filed 
     complaints with the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding denial 
     of communications with Trevor Reed;
       Whereas during the trial, the defense counsel presented 59 
     minutes of traffic camera video that showed the police car--
       (1) did not change direction or leave its lane;
       (2) did not swerve; and
       (3) did not stop or slow down;
       Whereas, on July 30, 2020, Golovinsky District Court Judge 
     Arnout read a verdict that dismissed all defense evidence, 
     witnesses, and government experts and included information 
     from the investigator's case files that were not discussed or 
     read into the court files;
       Whereas the judge sentenced Trevor Reed to 9 years in 
     prison camp and was ordered to pay 100,000 rubles to each 
     police officer for moral and physical injuries;
       Whereas Trevor Reed had already been detained in Russia for 
     1 year at the time of the judge's verdict; and
       Whereas, the United States Ambassador to Russia, John 
     Sullivan, upon Trevor's sentencing, stated that the 
     prosecution's case and the evidence presented against Mr. 
     Reed were ``so preposterous that they provoked laughter in 
     the courtroom'', the conviction and sentence were 
     ``ridiculous'', and ``justice was not even considered'': Now, 
     therefore, be it--
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
       (1) expresses support for Trevor Reed, Paul Whelan, and all 
     prisoners unjustly imprisoned in the Russian Federation;
       (2) condemns the practice of politically motivated 
     imprisonment in the Russian Federation, which violates the 
     commitments of the Russian Federation to international 
     obligations with respect to human rights and the rule of law;
       (3) urges the United States Government, in all its 
     interactions with the Government of the Russian Federation, 
     to raise the case of Trevor Reed and to press for his 
     release;
       (4) calls on the Government of the Russian Federation to 
     immediately release Trevor Reed and all other prisoners 
     arrested for political motivations;
       (5) urges the Government of the Russian Federation to 
     provide unrestricted consular access to Trevor Reed while he 
     remains in detention as required under the Vienna Convention 
     on Consular Relations;
       (6) calls on the Government of the Russian Federation--
       (A) to provide Trevor Reed any necessary medical treatment 
     and personal protective equipment;
       (B) to notify the United States Embassy in Moscow of any 
     medical problems or complaints that arise during his 
     detention; and
       (C) to provide the United States Embassy in Moscow with 
     full access to all of Trevor Reed's medical records;
       (7) urges the Government of the Russian Federation to 
     respect Trevor Reed's universally recognized human rights; 
     and
       (8) expresses support to the family of Trevor Reed and 
     commitment to bringing Trevor Reed home.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Engel) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. McCaul) each will 
control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on H. Res. 1115.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Res. 1115, calling for 
the immediate release of Trevor Reed.
  I would like to thank my colleague, Mr. Conaway, for introducing this 
bipartisan resolution.
  In 2019, U.S. citizen and former Marine Trevor Reed traveled to 
Russia. While on his trip, Moscow's Police Service detained and held 
Reed for over a year. On July 30, 2020, Reed was convicted of trumped-
up assault charges and sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison camp.
  During his sham of a trial, Mr. Speaker, traffic camera footage 
disproved the charges, and even the Russian judge laughed at the 
prosecution's absurd attempts to provide evidence. Despite this, Trevor 
Reed's defense team was denied access to additional video footage from 
the police vehicle and station that could have provided further proof 
of his innocence.
  While it is no surprise that Putin and his cronies didn't conduct a 
fair trial, it is appalling that Trevor is being held without medical 
treatment during a global pandemic and being denied consular access and 
communication with his family.
  H. Res. 1115 not only calls for the immediate release of Trevor, but 
expresses support for all unjustly detained prisoners in Russia and 
urges U.S. officials to raise Trevor's case during all interactions 
with the Russian Government. The resolution also demands that Russia 
provide the regular consular access and proper medical care afforded to 
Trevor through the Vienna Convention.
  Again, I thank Mr. Conaway for his commitment to bringing Trevor, a 
fellow Texan, home.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this measure, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  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.

[[Page H6091]]

  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.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  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, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Conaway), the sponsor of this bill.
  Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Texas for 
yielding and for those very kind words. I thank Chairman Engel and Mr. 
McCaul, the ranking member, for bringing this resolution forward.
  I rise today in strong support of the passage of my resolution 
calling for the immediate release of Trevor Reed.
  For the past 475 days, Trevor Reed, an eighth-generation Texan, Eagle 
Scout, and, more importantly, a United States Marine veteran, has been 
held in a Russian prison camp for crimes he did not commit.
  The Putin regime is clearly using Trevor as a political pawn. If they 
do not release him, he will be forced to serve an additional 9 years in 
a Russian prison camp, making it almost 10 years, total, that Trevor 
and his family will endure this nightmare.
  Trevor was initially detained by Moscow's Police Service in August of 
2019 for public intoxication, but after the Russian intelligence agency 
identified him as a U.S. Marine, they upped the charge, now accusing 
him with endangering the lives of two police officers.

                              {time}  1700

  Their claims were undeniably disproved by Trevor's defense team. The 
accusation, and the lack of evidence to support it, was so absurd that 
even the Russian judge erupted in laughter during his trial. Yet the 
judge disregarded all evidence, witnesses, and government experts by 
choosing to sentence Trevor to the harshest punishment ever given for 
this alleged crime in this particular classification.
  Vladimir Putin has repeatedly threatened our Nation and bullied our 
allies around the globe. His antagonism and animosity towards our 
country, our people, and our ideals holds no bounds.
  We are now seeing our own innocent citizens and their families caught 
in the middle of Putin's reprehensible political games.
  Mr. Speaker, an entire decade of this man's life is at stake. I urge 
my colleagues to support this resolution with a strong message to 
Vladimir Putin: the House of Representatives solidly stands against an 
American citizen being used as a political pawn. Free Trevor Reed.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his kind words again.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Kinzinger).
  Mr. KINZINGER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
thank the chairman and the ranking member for bringing this to the 
floor.
  When we think about Russian prisons, we don't often think about 
justice because, frankly, justice is at the whim of Vladimir Putin, the 
man who poisons citizens on NATO territory and uses the bludgeon of a 
hammer to actually get his will and power.
  So sometimes I think when we as Americans look at our political 
debates, we look at it as a form of dysfunction when, in reality, while 
the debate can be dysfunctional, it is very functional that we are 
having them.
  But in this case, I think it needs to be clear that we stand up for 
American citizens no matter what, and we don't care what their 
political stripes are when they are detained by somebody like Vladimir 
Putin.
  This resolution calls for the immediate release of Trevor Reed. He is 
a U.S. citizen, he is a Marine Corps veteran, and he was unjustly 
sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison.
  He has been detained for over a year now on baseless charges filed 
through an overtly corrupt trial.
  His lawyers have been denied access to the so-called evidence that 
the Russian authorities used to detain Trevor.
  After speaking with his mother, I have learned that his family has 
had a difficult time talking to him on the phone, limited interaction, 
because the authorities will not let Trevor communicate in English and 
they give him only a few calls home.
  It is an abuse of power and it is a clear attempt by the Russians to 
make an example of Trevor, an American, and this must be rectified 
immediately.
  Mr. Speaker, I applaud my colleagues for bringing up this important 
measure to the floor today.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Conaway and I thank the chair and ranking 
member. I thank Chairman Engel for his many, many years of service as 
well on the committee and in this House.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  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

[[Page H6092]]

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.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume for 
the purpose of closing.
  Mr. Speaker, again, I thank Mr. Conaway for his work on this 
bipartisan measure that calls on the Russian Government to drop the 
trumped-up charges against Trevor Reed and immediately release him from 
prison.
  Trevor and all those unjustly detained in Russia deserve to be 
released and safely reunited with their families for this holiday 
season.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support this measure and I urge all 
Members to do the same.
  Mr. Speaker, let me comment on my friend's remarks. It has been a 
pleasure for me to work with Mr. McCaul as the ranking member of the 
committee and when he was the chairman. We have done incredible work on 
our committee, both Democrats and Republicans, working together in a 
bipartisan way. I am very proud of the work we have all done and very 
proud of the work I have done personally with Mr. McCaul. I know we are 
going to continue to fight the good fight, because we stand for 
something. We are so blessed to live in this country, and we want to 
make sure that other people get the same kinds of freedoms that we 
have.
  Again, Mr. Speaker, I support this measure, and I urge all Members to 
do the same. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) that the House suspend the rules 
and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 1115, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the resolution, as amended, was agreed to.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________