As Marine veteran Andrew Tahmooressi appeared in a Mexican courthouse in Tijuana today for an evidentiary hearing, a host of lawmakers and a movie star are voicing their support for him.
Tahmooressi says he missed his exit at the San Ysidro border crossing March 31, entering Mexico with three firearms and dozens of rounds of ammunition in his truck before being arrested by Mexican authorities. His court proceedings were delayed by a series of legal hiccups: he has fired his attorney twice before hiring lawyer Fernando Benitez to represent him.
While the results of the hearing, which began at 11:30a.m. local time, have not been released yet, Fox News has this good primer on the action:
So far, thousands of members of the public have come to Tahmooressi’s support, with more than 100,000 people signing a White House petition asking the president to intervene on the veteran’s behalf.
On the eve of today’s hearing, Tahmooressi got one more fan: Gary Sinise, best known for playing “Lieutenant Dan” in the 1994 classic Forrest Gump.
Sinise, a longtime advocate of troops, took to Twitter to blast his support for Tahmooressi.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of 74 lawmakers, led by Reps. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Lee Terry, R-NE, have sent letters to Benitez and the Mexican circuit court judge, Victor Octavio Luna Escobedo, asking them to take Tahmooressi’s character and service into account and render a fair verdict.
Read the letters below:
Analysts say there’s a slim chance that Tahmooressi may be released at today’s hearing, but for now, it’s a game of wait-and-see.