A bipartisan group of congressmen traveling to Russia this week have pulled out of a visit to Chechnya that tough-guy actor Steven Seagal tried to set up for them.
The Russian trip, officially known as CODEL, represents part of the House investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing. The two brothers accused of perpetrating the deadly attack are Chechen Muslims.
Before the congressmen embarked on their journey, Seagal, who is on good terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, set up plans for the trip, Politico reports
"The CODEL’s visit to Chechnya was facilitated by Steven Seagal. He has an established friendship with Putin and others in the Russian government and assisted in accommodating the CODEL’s request to visit the region," said Tara Setmayer, a spokeswoman for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., according to the news service.
Congressional sources told Politico that lawmakers in the traveling party weren't so keen on the idea of visiting an area ruled by a Putin-backed human rights violator.
In addition to Rohrabacher, the congressional delegation includes Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Bill Keating, D-Mass; Steve King, R-Iowa; Paul Cook, R-Calif.; and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., ABC News reported.
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