President Donald Trump played an integral role in deporting former Nazi SS guard Jakiw Palij to Germany Tuesday after more than a decade of efforts to remove him from the U.S.
Trump ordered U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to find a way to get Palij out of the U.S. even before he assumed his position in Berlin in April, an official familiar with the matter told The Daily Caller. The president’s interest in Palij’s case stems from the years of New York City tabloid coverage it has garnered over the years, a person familiar with the president’s thinking relayed.
Palij was ordered to be deported from the U.S. in 2004 but his case has been particularly vexing to U.S. authorities over the years because he was born in a part of Poland that is presently Ukrainian territory, and was never a German citizen. All three countries refused since 2004 to accept Palij.
Grenell, acting upon the order of the president, vigorously highlighted Palij’s case to German authorities with the new argument that it had a moral obligation to accept him because the former SS guard committed his crime for the German government at the time. The ambassador raised the issue in nearly every meeting he had with senior German leadership, an official familiar involved in the process noted.
“The new members of the German cabinet brought a new perspective on this case. It was difficult to achieve a successful legal process because this Nazi guard wasn’t a German citizen – but the German government accepted their moral obligation to allow his deportation,” Grenell told TheDC in a statement.
Trump was particularly impressed with Grenell’s effort and called him Tuesday morning after an appearance on the Fox News Channel to congratulate him on his effort.
Ambassador Richard Grenell: “It’s really a credit to President Trump who was very clear about this case… He wanted this individual out of the United States.” https://t.co/U75OdUW6b4 pic.twitter.com/zFLdJiRsOP
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 21, 2018