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Senate chairman presses feds on daughter of ‘El Chapo’

Senate chairman presses feds on daughter of ‘El Chapo’
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The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know whether federal investigators have interviewed the eldest daughter of famed drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, following a report that the incarcerated kingpin twice snuck into the U.S. to visit her.

Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz told The Guardian earlier this year that her father secretly crossed the border into California twice in late 2015.

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“My dad deposited the money in a bank account with a lawyer and a while after he came to see the house, his house,” she said.

So far, U.S. officials haven’t been able to back up the story.

It’s unclear whether she was actually interviewed as part of the process.

“If it hasn't been done, that's a sad comment,” Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Loeffler to continue to self-isolate after conflicting COVID-19 test results Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection MORE (R-Iowa) said this week, during a Finance Committee hearing with Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske.

“I don't know whether the daughter was interviewed by Customs and Border Protection,” Kerlikowske told Grassley.

On Friday, Grassley took the question to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI Director James Comey. 

“[P]lease respond as to whether anyone in your department has interviewed Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz and provide any information relating to interviews or investigations,” he told the officials in a letter.

During the hearing Wednesday, Kerlikowske testified that federal officials looked into Guzmán Ortiz’s story “very thoroughly.”

“We had absolutely no piece of evidence other than her anecdote remark to a reporter that he had entered the country,” he said. “But I certainly cannot say with absolute authority that no, that never happened. We just never found any hint or scintilla of evidence that he ever did.”

According to The Guardian, Guzmán Ortiz and her four children live in a five-bedroom home in California paid for by her father.

Guzmán, the leader of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, was arrested for a third time earlier this year after his second escape from a Mexican prison. The Mexican court system has made an effort to extradite him to the U.S., but the process could take months to be finalized.