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Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman
FILE - This Feb. 22, 2014 file photo shows Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, being escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. The lawyer for Guzman says his client's mental health is deteriorating. Eduardo Balarezo told reporters on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, that he's seeking a psychological evaluation for Guzman before he goes to trial later this year in federal court in New York. The lawyer spoke outside court following a pretrial hearing. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

El Chapo's lawyer: Ted Cruz has 'better chance' at paying for wall than drug lord


SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KABB) — El Chapo's attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, has a message for Texas senator Ted Cruz after he proposed the notorious drug lord pay for President Donald Trump's border wall.


"Sen. Cruz surely knows that the government has seized none -- not a penny -- of Mr. Guzman's assets so getting him to pay for the wall is ludicrous," Lichtman said. "There's a better chance of Mr. Cruz paying for the wall."

Cruz' Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act would take money from Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also known as "El Chapo," and use the funds for "border security assets" and the completion of a border wall. Cruz reintroduced the bill Jan. 3.

Mexico's most notorious drug lord was convicted Tuesday of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation that could put the 61-year-old escape artist behind bars for decades in a maximum-security U.S. prison. Prosecutors are seeking $14 billion from "El Chapo," which is more than double President Trump's $5.7 billion wish list for the border wall.

Cruz' proposal comes a week after both political parties agreed to far less money for Trump's border wall, settling for a figure of nearly $1.4 billion, according to congressional aides. The funding measure is through the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators Trump is ready to sign the compromise appropriations bill that would avert another government shutdown — and give him significantly less money for a border wall than he'd demanded late last year, when his standoff with Congress over wall funding triggered a historically long 35-day shutdown. The bill contains $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new barrier.

The House and Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill Thursday. Now Trump appears poised to declare an emergency and turn to the military to build additional miles of wall — although a group of Democratic senators quickly filed a bill aimed at stopping him.

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