President Donald Trump voiced his disagreement after an illegal immigrant charged with killing 32-year-old Kate Steinle was found not guilty by a California jury on Thursday.
The judge instructed jurors to ignore the fact that the case was one of the most politicized criminal trials in years, the Washington Post reported.
Steinle was shot in the back on July 1, 2015 on Pier 14 in San Francisco while she was was walking with her father. Earlier, the accused Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a frequently deported illegal immigrant from Mexico, had been released from jail where he was being held on drug charges. Zarate was released despite federal immigration authorities’ desire to detain him.
Deliberations for the case began on Nov. 1, ultimately leading to the jury finding the Mexican citizen not guilty of murder, as well as not guilty of the lesser charges of involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon.
Zarate was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a sentence of up to three years. Federal immigration officials say that after the illegal immigrant serves that jail time, they will deport Zarate for the sixth time.
After Thursday’s verdict, President Donald Trump weighed in on the acquittal with a tweet that night, and a few tweets before sunrise on Friday morning.
"A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case!" Trump tweeted on Thursday night. "No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration."
Friday morning, Trump used the case to push for the border wall he promised during his presidential campaign.
"The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court," Trump posted early Friday morning. "His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!"
"The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon," Trump continued in another tweet. "The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded to the verdict by denouncing San Francisco and sanctuary cities, those that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities, in general.
"San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle," Sessions said.
Matt Gonzalez, the lead lawyer for the illegal immigrent, responded by mentioning the current Russia investigating engulfing the White House.
"For those who might criticize this verdict — there are a number of people who have commented on this case in the last couple of years," Gonzalez said. "Let me just remind them they are themselves under investigation by a special prosecutor in Washington, D.C. and they may soon avail themselves of the presumption of innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, so I ask that they reflect on that before the comment or disparage the results of this case."