Washington, DC Today House Foreign Affairs Committee Republican Leader Michael McCaul (R-TX) and House Agriculture Committee Republican Leader Mike Conaway (R-TX) held a press conference on their newly introduced legislation calling for the release of Trevor Reed. They were joined by Trevor Reed’s mother, Paula Reed. Trevor Reed, a former U.S. marine from Texas was recently sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on baseless charges. While in Russian custody, Trevor Reed has at times been denied consular access, communication with his family, and proper medical treatment. Key highlights from the press conference are below.

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Remarks from Lead Republican Michael McCaul: “We stand here today calling for the release of Trevor Reed from Putin’s prison. As was mentioned, Trevor was an Eagle Scout from Texas, who proudly served his country in the United States Marines. Now he’s been in Putin’s prison for more than a year for a crime he absolutely did not commit – and he is facing another nine years in a Russian labor camp.

“So I am proud to be here today with Trevor’s mother, Paula, and Congressman Conaway. As a father of five, I cannot imagine being in Paula’s shoes and the feeling of helplessness.

“To Trevor and the Reed family I just would like to say: Texas is with you and America is with you. And we will stand with you in Congress every day until we can finally bring Trevor home to his family.

“So again I am proud to join Congressman Conaway and many of my fellow Texans from both sides of the aisle to introduce this resolution to help raise awareness about Trevor’s case. And I hope this sends a strong message to the Putin regime that America will not stand idly by as Putin and his cronies hold U.S. citizens as political pawns.”

Highlights of remarks from Trevor’s mother, Paula Reed: “[Trevor] had a bright future ahead of him. He had saved some money, and he was looking to purchase a new house. The American dream was so close for him, and then it was just grabbed away one day in Moscow.

“During the course of a 4 month trial, the prosecution produced no evidence, whatsoever, at all that Trevor committed the crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to nine years in a Russian labor camp. … It is obvious to us and anyone else who can view the evidence in the case that Trevor is being held as a bargaining chip.”