Durbin calls Egypt's trial of LaHood's son 'an outrage'

February 6, 2012

by Jennifer Brandel and The Associated Press

(AP/Transportation Department/File)
Sam Lahood, left, watches as his father Ray is sworn in as Transportation Secretary in 2009.

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin warned Egypt to stop pursuing trials against 19 Americans working there. Among the workers is Peoria native Sam LaHood. He's the son of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

Egypt alleges pro-democracy groups like the one LaHood works for are funding and supporting anti-Egyptian government protests.

Durbin was emotional when asked about LaHood by reporters at an unrelated press conference Monday.

He said, "It is an outrage that a country that receives more foreign aid than any other country in the world, is arresting the representatives of our government and threatening to throw them in jail for doing something that is very public, very open and not inconsistent with their future!"

Durbin said Egypt has no case against the workers, and pursuing the matter further will put its relationship with the United States on the line.

Prosecutors said Sam LaHood and five other Americans remain in Egypt, while the others have left. Egypt has banned LaHood from leaving the country.