Lawmakers Surprisingly Nervous About Steven Seagal–Planned Chechnya Trip

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Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/2008 Getty Images

America's G-list celebrities have already taken on the unenviable task of talking diplomacy with the world's dictators, but apparently their government service doesn't end there. Politico reports that Steven Seagal tried to organize a trip to Chechnya for several members of Congress. This week, House members Dana Rohrabacher, Michele Bachmann, Bill Keating, Steve King, Paul Cook, and Steve Cohen took an official Congressional trip, or "CODEL," to Russia as part of their investigation into the Boston bombings. “The CODEL’s visit to Chechnya was facilitated by Steven Seagal," a Rohrabacher spokeswoman confirmed. "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."

Seagal was spotted palling around Vladimir Putin a few months ago, and apparently he's also chummy with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, a man who's been accused of killing critics of his government and is fond of posting photos of himself playing with tigers on Instagram. Politico reports that some lawmakers "got cold feet at the last minute" about the Chechnya detour, though it would seem the safest way to visit the region is with Kadyrov ally, martial artist, and occasional lawman Steven Seagal.