April 10, 2019

Sen. Young Asks Secretary Of State About Bloomington Man Detained In Venezuela

A court ordered Todd Leininger's release in November, but he remains in a Venezuelan prison. - Courtesy Barbara Leininger

A court ordered Todd Leininger's release in November, but he remains in a Venezuelan prison.

Courtesy Barbara Leininger

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a committee hearing Wednesday what he’s doing to bring a Bloomington man who’s detained in Venezuela home.

Venezuelan authorities arrested Todd Leininger when he was visiting the country in 2014 on charges of attempted murder and arms trafficking.

The government eventually dropped those charges, and instead convicted Leininger of attempted homicide and concealment of a firearm. A court ordered his release in November, but Leininger remains in a Venezuelan prison.

Young told Pompeo there’s an increased sense of urgency to bring Leininger home.

"I’m in regular contact with Todd’s mother," Young said. "She has concerns for Todd’s, not just welfare, but his very life. There’s drinking water shortages, severe unsanitary conditions."

Young says he also outlined his concerns in a letter to Pompeo, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The State Department pulled all U.S. Diplomats from Venezuela because of the ongoing conflict, but Pompeo says they’re still working diligently to ensure the safety of Americans imprisoned there.

"Know that we are still having conversations with a broad range of Venezuelans working diligently to try and make the case to get every American returned home," Pompeo said.

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