Congressman Schiff Applauds Sen. Menendez's Actions to Halt the Nomination of Richard Hoagland as the next U.S. Ambassador to Armenia

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) lauded Senator Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) effort to block a vote on Richard E. Hoagland’s nomination to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Armenia.  Yesterday, Senator Menendez put a hold on Mr. Hoagland’s nomination, preventing a Senate vote.  Mr. Hoagland has been nominated to replace Ambassador John Evans who was recently pushed to retire from his post by the Bush Administration.  Congressman Schiff and many of his Congressional colleagues believe Ambassador Evans was recalled for his comments made in February of 2005 in which he publicly recognized the Armenian Genocide. 

“Before the Senate confirms a new Ambassador to Armenia, Congress should know why Mr. Evans was recalled,” Schiff said.  “It is unfortunate that the Administration refuses to recognize the deliberate murder of a million and a half people for what it was -- genocide.  More than that, the Administration is firing an American diplomat for publicly recognizing the historic facts -- an effort was made to murder an entire people in the first genocide of the 20th Century, the Armenian Genocide.  If the Administration has a legitimate reason for recalling Ambassador Evans it should provide Congress and the American people with a justification.”

In May of 2006, Rep. Schiff urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to explain the decision to withdraw John Evans as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia.  Congressman Schiff joined over 60 Members of the House in sending a letter to Secretary Rice asking for further clarification of Evans' recall.  Congressman Schiff has also met with and pressed senior State Department officials to explain Evans’ recall.  However, Secretary Rice and the Administration have refused to provide an explanation. 

Congressman Adam Schiff represents California's 29th Congressional District, including the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, Glendale, Griffith Park, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, and Temple City.