Now the illegal immigrant accused in the shooting death of Kate Steinle is suing the U.S. government, claiming he is a victim of “vindictive’ prosecution.”
Facing deportation after being acquitted of murdering the 32-year-old Steinle in July 2015, Jose Garcia-Zarate, is now claiming he has been treated unfairly by the U.S. government.
Garcia-Zarate, who was deported five times before the shooting death of Steinle at the San Francisco pier, was acquitted in November of first and second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. But he was indicted a few days later by a federal grand jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being “an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States in possession of a firearm,” Fox News reported.
Lawyers for Garcia-Zarate demanded documents related to the case in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California on Tuesday and used tweets and public statements by President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim collusion and double jeopardy.
“The true federal interest in pursuing this prosecution is to punish and make an example out of Mr. Garcia-Zarate for his high-profile acquittal in state court,” the motion read. “This prosecution seeks to demonstrate to any high-profile defendant, especially one that is an undocumented immigrant, that their successful exercise of due process rights will not be respected and will result in the heavy hammer of a federal prosecution.”
“Almost immediately after the death of Ms. Steinle, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump began to use Mr. Garcia-Zarate as the symbol of the dangers of illegal immigrants and the need for a wall between the United States and Mexico,” the filing said.
Lawyers even claimed that Trump “maligned the verdict on Twitter, stating: ‘A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.’”
Comments by Sessions about the verdict and blaming San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy were also cited.
“Mr. Garcia-Zarate contends that this prosecution against him is vindictive, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and violates Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment because of ongoing collusion between the State of California and the federal government,” the motion read.
Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney slammed the “outrageous story” that he said simply “takes your breath away” with the audacity.
“The man who shot Kate Steinle is suing you, the taxpayer, on the grounds that he was the victim of vindictive prosecution,” Varney said. “This is what happens when a state goes rogue, defying federal authority, supporting illegals over citizens and endangering the lives of ordinary people.”