After three years behind bars, Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi has finally been released from prison in Cairo, and returned to the United States late last night.
Obama was happy to pardon the sentence of convicted murderer and terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, that only required the move of a pen. But working to free Hijazi, who set up and ran a rehabilitation center for poor and abandoned children and was erroneously suspected of human trafficking, then put in jail without any due process? Too much for the Obama administration to deal with apparently.
According to the Washington Post, President Trump and his aides worked for several weeks with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to secure the freedom of Aya Hijazi, 30, a U.S. citizen, as well as her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, who is Egyptian, and four other humanitarian workers. Trump dispatched a U.S. government aircraft to Cairo to bring Hijazi and her family to Washington. The Obama administration unsuccessfully pressed Sissi’s government for their release. It was not until Trump moved to reset U.S. relations with Egypt by embracing Sissi at the White House on April 3 — he publicly hailed the autocrat’s leadership as “fantastic” and offered the U.S. government’s “strong backing” — that Egypt’s posture changed. Last Sunday, a court in Cairo dropped all charges against Hijazi and the others.
Josua Yasmeh of the Daily Wire noted, “this wasn’t your classic Obama-era quid pro quo transaction or controversial prisoner exchange. Unlike Obama, who infamously traded five senior Taliban Gitmo detainees for U.S. army deserter Bowe Bergdahl in 2014, Trump personally oversaw Hijazi’s release and received assurances from Cairo that the prisoner release was a gesture of good faith.”
Trump sent his military aide Air Force Maj. Wes Spurlock to escort Hijazi to Washington.
The two met earlier today in the White House.
“We are very happy to have Aya back home, and it is a great honor to have her in the Oval Office with her brother’ Trump told reporters, not taking any questions.On second thought, thank God it wasn’t Obama who ensured her freedom. Who’d know what he would’ve traded for it?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]