Jose Garcia-Zarate, the multi-time deported illegal immigrant who fatally shot Kate Steinle and was found guilty by a San Francisco court of felony gun possession and violating immigration laws, is now accusing President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions of “vindictive prosecution” and alleging that the administration “colluded” with local law enforcement against him.
In a ruling met with widespread outrage, a California court found Garcia-Zarate not guilty of murder or even manslaughter after fatally shooting Steinle. The court did, however, find him guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and violating federal immigration policies. But the criminal illegal immigrant’s day in court is not done, as Sessions’ Department of Justice has filed a federal lawsuit against him for “being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition,” an action allowed under the “dual sovereignty doctrine,” which allows dual charges for crimes that violate both state and federal law.
Citing Trump’s tweets slamming him and alleging “collusion,” Garcia-Zarate is now charging the federal government with “vindictive prosecution.”
In a motion filed in federal court in San Francisco Tuesday, Garcia-Zarate’s attorneys slammed Trump for repeatedly condemning his client on social media. “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,” they wrote. The DOJ’s charges, they suggest, amount to double jeopardy. “Though broken up into two counts, these allegations address the exact same conduct as that for which he was convicted in San Francisco,” reads the motion. His attorneys demand that the federal government now provide all communications they conducted with local law enforcement in order to prove “collusion” against his client.