Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the undocumented immigrant at the center of a murder case that drew national attention the last two years, has been found not guilty of the murder of Kate Steinle. The case has largely been used by Trump to stoke anti-immigrant sentiment throughout his campaign and presidency.
Upon hearing the verdict of the case, Trump took to Twitter to deride the justice system for not conforming to his blindly racist agenda.
A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
Then-candidate Trump used the case as justification for his attack on so-called sanctuary city laws and for his controversial wall across the southern border. Garcia became the exception that proved the rule about Mexico “not sending their best.”
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” Trump said the day he announced his run for President in 2015.
Steinle’s death became a cause célèbre for Republicans when she was tragically killed on July 1, 2015, only weeks before Trump’s campaign launch. Conservative lawmakers and firebrands in the right wing media quickly made Steinle a martyr in their anti-immigrant crusade, even drawing up “Kate’s Law” that called for increasing the penalties for deported undocumented aliens who get caught returning to the United States illegally again and again. The GOP-controlled Congress passed the bill along party lines earlier this year.
Garcia found a gun in a dumpster that had been stolen from the car of an agent of the Federal Bureau of Land Management. His defense lawyers argued that the gun went off accidentally while he was holding it, after which he threw it into the San Francisco Bay. The bullet, however, ricocheted off a wall and hit nearby Kate Steinle, tragically killing her.
This is, of course, not the first time that Trump has failed to respect the democratic and judicial processes in the United States. He has railed against the judiciary on numerous occasions when they have ruled against him in cases relating to his Muslim ban and withholding federal funding for sanctuary cities.
The concept, then, that the President could ever be expected to respect the rule of law when he himself is so contemptuous of it is perhaps why he is staring down the barrel of a rapidly-progressing investigation into possible collusion with Russia to subvert democracy in the United States.
So much for the “law and order” candidate we saw on the campaign trail.
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