GOP Reps Visit Marine Jailed in Mexico, Challenge Obama to Act
A U.S. Marine who's been held since March in a Mexican prison will likely be jailed for at least a few more months, according to his new attorney. Fernando Benitez called Monday for patience, saying an outcome in the case won't be coming "tomorrow."
Benitez also said he's hopeful that Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi will be acquitted.
Tahmooressi has been held by Mexican authorities since March 31, when he accidentally drove across the U.S.-Mexico border with three legally purchased guns and 400 rounds of ammunition.
Tahmooressi, who served two tours in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD, has claimed to have suffered physical abuse at the hands of jail guards who allegedly stripped him naked and chained him to a bed.
Last night, Greta Van Susteren continued to follow the case, talking to two Republican congressmen who visited Tahmooressi over the weekend (video above). She asked why the Obama administration has not called Mexican officials and at least urged them to fast-track the legal process.
Reps. Ed Royce (CA) and Matt Salmon (AZ) both said Tahmooressi was in good spirits, with Royce saying he talked with VP Biden last week about the case. Royce said he's working to get the case "fast-tracked," but noted that President Obama did not mention Sgt. Tahmooressi in a conversation last week with the Mexican president.
"We pushed [Biden] hard to get involved," said Royce, adding he didn't receive any guarantees from the vice president that a call would be made.
Royce shared a bit of positive news, saying Tahmooressi expressed that the Tecate prison is a "much better" place for him than the "horrible" La Mesa prison where he was initially held.
Salmon believes President Obama could make a real difference in the case if he would get involved, challenging the president to take action and comparing Tahmooressi's case to the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange.
"I'm challenging him and I'm asking him to do the right thing. You've done that for another soldier. This soldier, no one has any questions about his commitment to this country. He's an American hero and he needs to be out. ... If [the president] would actually take the time and invest some of his sweat equity to get this done, I believe it would put it over the hump," said Salmon, arguing that Obama should call for Tahmooressi's release on "humanitarian" grounds because of the PTSD.
As William LaJeunesse explained this morning, the case boils down to one question: did Tahmooressi make a wrong turn or was he engaging in gun smuggling? Watch his report on the legal issues at play below.