WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Wednesday he would meet with the parents of the Texas veteran who has been detained in Russia since August 2019.
Trevor Reed is an ex-Marine who was detained in August 2019 on questionable grounds, according to news reports, United States diplomats and Texas members of Congress. Since then, his parents, Joey and Paula Reed, have pleaded for his release.
Biden told a CNN reporter Wednesday that he would meet with Reed’s parents, who were protesting in front of the White House to bring awareness to his case.
Reed traveled to Russia in the summer of 2019 to learn the language of his Russian girlfriend. Russian authorities arrested him that August for public drunkenness and took him to a jail.
“Trevor was initially detained for public intoxication, but when the Russian Federal Security Service discovered that he was a U.S. Marine, they upped the charges and accused him of endangering the lives of police officers,” Republican U.S. Rep. August Pfluger of San Angelo told The Texas Tribune in 2021. “The accusation, and the lack of evidence to support it, was so ridiculous that even the Russian judge erupted in laughter during his trial.”
The case has taken on new urgency in recent months with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and escalating tensions as the U.S. has issued sanctions on the former Soviet nation.
Pfluger and several Republican Texans in Congress expressed anger at Biden earlier this month for traveling to the state and not meeting with the Reeds. Biden discussed Reed’s status in a 2021 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The U.S. House passed a 2021 resolution calling for the Reed’s release.
Reed is one of two known Texans in Russian custody. In February, Russian authorities detained WNBA star Brittney Griner, claiming she was in possession of cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.
This article was written by ABBY LIVINGSTON of The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. This article originally appeared at: https://www.texastribune.org/2022/03/30/joe-biden-trevor-reed-russia/