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Washington, DC – Yesterday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul spoke on the House Floor in support of passing H.Res. 377, Calling for the immediate release of Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen and journalist who was wrongfully detained by the Government of the Russian Federation in March 2023.



– Chairman McCaul delivered the following remarks –

Evan Gershkovich is an American citizen and a 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, Mr. Speaker, 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 that the war criminal Putin doesn’t like that.

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

He doesn’t want them to know about the corruption within his own 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 especially his family that I’ve met with, that we will continue our fight every day until we bring him home to you.

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

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

Like any mother, she was very worried about 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 of our committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and others on Capitol Hill who are doing everything we can to help their son.

Just as unfortunate, our next resolution – on Paul Whelan – makes clear that Evan’s family is not the only one suffering through this nightmare.

We are also awaiting information from the State Department about the arrest of yet another American citizen in Russia over this last weekend.

The Putin regime is increasingly brazen in using political detentions to seek leverage over the Biden Administration.

And it must be made clear that the use of American citizens as political pawns will not go unpunished.

These Americans deserve to be home with their families instead of in Russian prisons.

So today’s bipartisan resolution condemns the Putin regime for their illegal imprisonment.

It calls on the Biden administration to prioritize bringing home all American citizens who are wrongfully detained overseas.

And today we send 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.

America, Mr. Speaker, stands with Evan.  And with every American who is wrongfully detained overseas.

We will not rest until all of them brought home.

I reserve the balance of my time.