Rep. Matt Salmon to Obama: Ask Mexico to Free Jailed Ex-Marine

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 08:49 PM

By Greg Richter

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President Barack Obama should personally ask Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to free a former U.S. Marine imprisoned in that country for accidentally crossing the border with guns in his truck, Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon said Monday.

Salmon and California Rep. Ed Royce visited Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi last week at the El Hongo II prison in Tecate, Mexico, and said Monday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" that he appeared in good spirits.

Tahmooressi has been in prison for almost three months, since he drove into Mexico in a truck containing three licensed firearms and ammunition. He told border guards he made a wrong turn and was unable to turn around before crossing the border, but was arrested and has been awaiting trial.

Royce said he has talked to Mexico's vice president as well as other officials to try to get Tahmooressi, who served two tours in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD, released.

"We are trying to get this case fast-tracked, and I think, at this point, now that he has a new attorney, it'll come up soon," Royce told Van Susteren.

Salmon said that during the past few months, Obama has gone to great pains to talk about leaving no soldier behind during the controversial prisoner swap for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

"He has also gone to great pains to say that his responsibility is to look out for every American abroad," Salmon said. "I'm challenging him, and I'm asking him to do the right thing. You've done that for another soldier. This soldier, nobody has any questions about his commitment to this country. He's an American hero, and he needs to be out."

Many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have spoken on Tahmooressi's behalf, Salmon said, adding that if Obama would make a statement, "I believe it would put it over the hump."

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