Udall, Heinrich Oppose Letting Putin Question U.S. Officials

Senate resolution expresses Congress’ opposition to making American officials available to the Russian government for questioning

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich today voted for a resolution affirming Congress’ opposition to making U.S. diplomats, officials, and members of the Armed Forces available for questioning by the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The resolution comes after President Trump expressed an openness to a request by Putin to question former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and other Americans, calling the request part of “an incredible offer.” Then, just yesterday, the Trump administration again refused to rule out such an arrangement with the Russians.

“While the whole world was watching, President Trump cozied up to Vladimir Putin and refused to defend America’s democratic principles or the patriotic Americans who serve this nation,” Udall said. “The questions are mounting as to what is behind President Trump’s pro-Kremlin approach to our NATO allies and Russia’s attack on democratic institutions, and it’s downright scary that the president would even entertain the idea of turning over an American official to Putin’s government for questioning. I’m glad that Congress has affirmed its unanimous opposition to making our citizens available for questioning by a foreign adversary. But we must do much more to push back on the president’s dangerous attacks on the rule of law, his unwillingness to defend our democratic process, and his reckless approach to world diplomacy.” 

“That Congress even needs to pass a resolution like this speaks volumes about the volatile place President Trump has put us in with Russia,” said Heinrich. “It’s unbelievable that he would ever consider subjecting our citizens or diplomats to questioning by a foreign adversary. As the White House continues trying to do damage control, the American people cannot wait for us to take the necessary steps to defend our democratic institutions.”

The resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 98-0. The full text of the resolution is available below.

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of Congress against the making available of current and former diplomats, officials, and members of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government of Vladimir Putin.

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the United States should refuse to make available any current or former diplomat, civil servant, political appointee, law enforcement official, or member of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government of Vladimir Putin