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Illegal immigrant accused of killing Kate Steinle accuses federal gov't of 'vindictive prosecution

Lawyers for Jose Garcia-Zarate have accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump of politicizing the case of Kate Steinle's death. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The illegal immigrant who was acquitted of the murder of Kate Steinle has accused the federal government of “vindictive prosecution” after being hit with federal charges.

Jose Garcia-Zarate was acquitted of murder and assault charges in Steinle’s shooting death, but convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Garcia-Zarate’s lawyers accused President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions of politicizing the case and seeking to make an example out of Garcia-Zarate to further their agenda.

What is he accusing the government of?

Less than a week after his verdict in state court, a federal grand jury charged Garcia-Zarate with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and being an immigrant illegally and unlawfully in the United States in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

In the court filing, Garcia-Zarate’s lawyers accuse the government of violating the due process clause of the 14th Amendment and the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment due to “ongoing collusion between the State of California and the federal government.”

Garcia-Zarate’s lawyers claim the federal charges are directed at the same conduct that he was convicted of in state court.

What do they want?

Garcia-Zarate’s legal team wants numerous documents and information related to communications between federal agencies and San Francisco authorities in an attempt to prove that they colluded against Garcia-Zarate.

“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 filing reads. “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.”

(H/T: The Washington Times)

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