Parents of man jailed in Russia for years meet with Biden

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    Joey and Paula Reed, parents of US Marine Corps veteran and Russian prisoner Trevor Reed, stand in Lafayette Park near the White House in Washington.

WASHINGTON >> The parents of a Navy veteran jailed in Russia met with President Joe Biden and senior officials at the White House on Wednesday, according to the administration and a spokesman for the Reed family.

Trevor Reed has been jailed in Russia since his arrest in 2019 on charges of assaulting police officers in Moscow who drove him to a police station after picking him up after a night of drinking. He was convicted in 2020 and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Since then, Biden administration officials have repeatedly called for the release of Reed, as well as Paul Whelan, a Michigan security expert jailed in Russia on espionage charges his family believes are false. The White House says both men are wrongly imprisoned.

Joey and Paula Reed of Granbury, Texas, traveled to Washington this week to seek an in-person meeting with Biden after a phone call earlier this month when the President visited Texas. After the Reeds in Texas stood in the route of Biden’s motorcade hoping it would stop — it didn’t — the White House said scheduling a meeting would work.

On Wednesday night, the couple met with Biden and some senior administration officials in the Oval Office for more than half an hour, according to Reed family spokesman Jonathan Franks. He declined to discuss details of the meeting.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the meeting and said the president’s national security team will remain in touch with the Reeds.

“During their meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to continue working to secure the release of Trevor, Paul Whelan and other Americans unjustly being held in Russia and elsewhere, and to provide any assistance possible until they and others are released.” are returning home to their families who are so passionate about their release,” Psaki said.

The Reeds, who have publicly expressed concern about their son’s health in prison and have also expressed support for the idea of ​​a prisoner swap, stood near the White House on Wednesday holding a sign that read: “Free Trevor reed Prisoner of Russia since 2019.”

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