MS-13 trial begins after judge rules Trump didn’t prejudice jury
A trial of four accused MS-13 gang members began on Thursday after a Boston judge ruled that President Trump referencing the gang during a national address did not unduly influence the jury, Reuters reported.
U.S. District Judge Dennis Saylor on Wednesday denied a request by a lawyer for his client, a suspected leader of an MS-13 cell in Massachusetts, to delay the trial until March after Trump’s criticism.
During his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, Trump condemned the “savage” gang and the “deadly loopholes” that he said allow members of the international gang to enter the U.S. as minors.
Trump recognized two married couples from Long Island at the speech who each had daughters that he said were murdered by members of the gang.
Four accused MS-13 members are on trial in Boston for racketeering charges.
“Put simply, MS-13 is about violence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Lawrence said in her opening statement for the trial, and told the jury that the four men are “fully committed to MS-13.”
The Justice Department estimates there are about 10,000 members of the El Salvador-based gang MS-13 currently in the U.S. Trump frequently calls out the gang in advocating increased border control.