Steven Seagal was part of a congressional trip to Chechnya that was canceled at the last minute.
Officially known as CODEL, the trip was part of the House committee’s investigation into the Boston bombings. The brothers who plotted and executed the attack grew up in the Kalmykia region of Russia. The Under Siege star was reportedly very interested in tagging along.
According to the Daily Beast, Steven Seagal “facilitated” the trip to Chechnya through his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, lawmakers decided to cancel the trip since they didn’t feel comfortable traveling with Putin through this region of the country.
“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,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s spokeswoman explained.
Politico reports that the delegation wasn’t exactly comfortable with the trip to Chechnya planned by Steven Seagal. Since Putin doesn’t have the cleanest human rights record on the books, many felt the journey could be potentially dangerous.
According to ANI, the delegation headed to Russia includes Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Bill Keating (D-Mass), Steve King (R-Iowa), Paul Cook (R-Calif.), and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.).
Steven Seagal and Vladimir Putin have developed a pretty tight friendship over the years. The prolific action movie star made the journey to Russia earlier this year to help Putin open a martial arts center designed to help get kids active and in shape.
“Putin and Seagal have long been friends, and they regularly meet each other,” a spokesperson for the Russian President explained. They also reportedly had lunch together before attending a local judo competition.
Members of the delegation who were headed to Russia have declined to comment on the situation. The actor’s representatives also had nothing to say regarding the CODEL trip.
What do you think about Steven Seagal planning a trip to Chechnya?