MS-13 Member Lawyer: Trump SOTU Used Client for ‘Political Purposes’

US President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the US Capitol, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi behind him
AFP/Doug Mills

The attorney for the suspected MS-13 member accused of fatally shooting a rival gang member on a New York City subway platform said it was a “tragedy” President Trump used his client for “political purposes” in his Tuesday address.

“It’s absolutely crazy. It undermines my client’s presumption of innocence,” said lawyer Scott Bookstein, who is representing suspected MS-13 member Ramiro Gutierrez, according to the New York Post. “It’s a tragedy it’s being used for political purposes.”

Bookstein added that he thinks prosecutors are using the case to promote a “right-wing agenda.”

“They’re using this to promote xenophobia and their right-wing agenda,” Bookstein said. “This is clearly not as clear cut a case as the state indicated. I don’t think without the statement they have a case.”

Trump mentioned Sunday’s suspected MS-13 gang member-related shooting in New York City in a portion of his Tuesday State of the Union address to make a point about the rising numbers of illegal immigration in this country.

“The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in at least 20 different American states. And they almost all come through our southern border. Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting on a subway platform in New York City,” Trump said Tuesday night.

“We are removing these gang members by the thousands. But until we secure our border, they’re going to keep streaming right back in. Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens,” he added.

Gutierrez, who is being held without bond on murder charges as of Tuesday night, allegedly told detectives that he shot his 20-year-old victim during a fight on the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue subway station platform in Queens on Sunday afternoon.

“I was wrestling on the ground. I saw a gun. I picked it up. I fingered the trigger. It went off. Then I went black,” Gutierrez told detectives, according to prosecutors.



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