OTR Interviews

Mother of Marine jailed in Mexico: Still 'total silence' from White House on son's ordeal

Jill Tahmooressi, mother of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, speaks out about her decision to hire a new attorney for her son and their new plan to free the U.S. Marine from Mexican prison.


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 24, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are trying to get this case fast tracked.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: It's the right thing to do.

TAHMOORESSI: I played tic-tac-toe with one of prisoners and he made it seem like it was gonna be the last tic-tac-toe I would ever play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's an American hero and he needs to be out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this administration should pick up the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm challenging him and I'm asking him to do the right thing.


VAN SUSTEREN: So, is the U.S. Marine who did two tours in Afghanistan and who is now jailed in Mexico getting any closer to freedom? Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has a new lawyer and has a new defense strategy. The Marine's mother, Jill Tahmooressi, joins us. Good evening, Jill.


VAN SUSTEREN: Jill, have you heard from the White House at all or the State Department? Anyone to say we're trying?

MRS. TAHMOORESSI: No. Twenty six days after we met the threshold of 100,000 signatures, total silence. I can only assume they don't have anything to say. Perhaps they haven't done anything, that's why there is total silence.

VAN SUSTEREN: That 100,000 signatures you're talking about the Whitehouse.gov petition on the White House website.


VAN SUSTEREN: Where they said you get 100,000 signatures in 30 days we will answer your questions. All right. Now, let me ask you. Why a new lawyer?

MRS. TAHMOORESSI: Because the lawyer number one lawyer, lawyer number two were not experienced criminal attorneys, as I found out. And I brought in a criminal defense attorney from California this time to help me evaluate the situation. And very clearly he determined that we need to start interviewing other teams, and so we did that together. And so, we made a decision together.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I don't know if many people realize. I mean, the idea when you go from lawyer to lawyer to lawyer. You're going to spend a more money and more money and more money and more money. You're getting more delay, more delay, more delay, more heartbreak. You know, that this whole thing has just been endless since March 31st. It is so disheartening. And I don't even know what to do for you anymore. We have banged the drum so loudly. And nobody will help.

MRS. TAHMOORESSI: Yes. Well, confidently, this new attorney that is his prime -- that is his only job is to do criminal defense, and so I was grateful for the assistance of attorney from California to help me because as a mom, it's near impossible. Lesson learned. It's near impossible to even begin to select a Mexican attorney that will do justice. And expeditious due process. So, we're almost 90 days in, Greta. And there is not one stitch of evidence in Andrew's file from attorney 1, attorney 2. Nothing in his file to defend his innocence of the accidental entry. However, I'm confident that that will change with the strategy of the new attorney.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, in my wildest dreams I cannot believe that a call from secretary of state or our president to Mexico just simply fast track the judicial proceedings in Mexico. I'm not saying, you know, that they should dictate what happens. Just fast track the consideration of the case that we couldn't get that done for the simple phone call. For the life of me, I don't understand why we don't. But, Jill, good luck and actually, Jill, if you get any news, call us, of course.

MRS. TAHMOORESSI: I will. Thank you.