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Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul gave the following remarks at a full committee markup of H.Res. 377



Remarks as Delivered –

Evan Gershkovich is an American citizen and a well-respected Wall Street Journal reporter.

He is the son of two Soviet-born Jewish exiles who fled Russia to avoid persecution. And he is a loving little brother.

What he is not is a criminal.

Yet, on March 29th, he was arrested by the corrupt Putin regime and charged with espionage.

No evidence has been presented to back up this accusation. Because there is no evidence. Evan is innocent.

He was simply doing his job – reporting on the news in Russia.

But we know the war criminal Putin doesn’t like that.

He doesn’t want his own people to know about the atrocities he is committing in Ukraine.

He doesn’t want them to know about the corruption within his government. Or how he has turned their country into an international pariah. 

Vladimir Putin knows that a free press is a pillar of democracy. That a strong Fourth Estate will hold officials accountable.

So, he arrested Evan with the intention of not only silencing him, but of scaring other journalists to remain silent too.

I want to assure Evan’s friends, his coworkers, and his family that we will continue our fight every day until we bring him home to you.

Many of them are watching online today to show their support for Evan, including:

  • His mother Ella;  
  • His father Mikhail;
  • His sister Danielle;
  • And his brother-in-law Anthony.

As a father of five children, I can’t begin to imagine the pain and suffering Evan’s family is feeling right now.

I had the honor and the opportunity to meet Evan’s mother, Ella, recently.

Like any mother, she was very worried for her son’s long-term situation. But she was also determined to do anything she could to bring him home.

And she thanked me for the efforts this committee and others on Capitol Hill were doing to help her son.

Unfortunately, Evan’s family is not the only one suffering through this horrific ordeal.

Paul Whelan has been illegally detained by Putin since 2018. Like Evan, Paul is completely innocent of the charges against him.

And like Evan, Paul deserves to be home with his family instead of in a Russian prison.

The nightmare for Evan, Paul, and their families must end immediately.

This committee and all Americans stand with Evan.

That’s why I am proud to mark up this bipartisan resolution today that condemns the Putin regime for its illegal imprisonment of Evan and Paul.

And it calls on the Biden Administration to prioritize bringing all American citizens home who are wrongfully detained overseas.

I hope this bipartisan resolution sends a strong message to Vladimir Putin that America – Republicans and Democrats alike – will not tolerate his corrupt regime holding U.S. citizens hostage under false pretenses.

And I hope it sends a message to every American citizen who is wrongfully detained overseas that this Congress will not rest until you are all brought home.

Evan Gershkovich is an American citizen and a respected Wall Street Journal reporter.

I’ve had the chance to meet with his colleagues as well. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering knowing that their friend, their son, is sitting in a Russian prison.

By passing this resolution, we send a strong message to Vladimir Putin to free Evan, and to free Paul Whelan once and for all.