Rep. Kevin McCarthy joined Rep. August Pfluger of Texas and a bipartisan group of members of Congress on Tuesday in urging President Biden to call for the release of Trevor Reed and and another U.S. Marine veteran, Paul Whelan, during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Reed, who grew up in Tehachapi and graduated from Tehachapi High School in 2010, was sentenced by a Russian judge to nine years behind bars in July 2020 after a birthday party in a park led to an altercation with police.
For the past two years, Reed’s family has joined officials in a fight for his safe return to the United States.
“Trevor Reed honorably served our great nation, and his treatment by the Russian judicial system has been inhumane and cruel,” McCarthy said in a statement Tuesday. “Tomorrow, President Biden will have the opportunity to demand his release from Putin himself. I stand in solidarity with Trevor’s parents — Joey and Paula, Trevor’s family and friends, and my fellow members of Congress in calling for his safe return. It is time to bring Trevor home.”
On March, 17, 2021, McCarthy held a virtual news conference highlighting H.Res. 186, a resolution introduced by Pfluger and co-sponsored by McCarthy, calling for Reed’s immediate release.
In an excerpt of the letter addressed to President Biden, McCarthy wrote: “We write to urge you to address the arrest and detention of falsely accused U.S. citizens in Russia when you meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16. Over the past three years, the Russian Federation has arrested, detained and convicted two American citizens, Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed, on legally dubious and politically motivated charges. These political arrests are unacceptable and fly in the face of international legal standards…”