In another example of Trump showing a lack of empathy for a bereaved parent, the parents of a U.K man who was killed in a car crash involving the wife of a U.S diplomat claim Trump attempted to spring an impromptu meeting with the woman who allegedly killed their son.
Nineteen-year-old Harry Dunn was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a Volvo. The collision took place near Air Force communications station RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, England.
Forty-two year old Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence official, is believed to have been the driver. She left the United Kingdom shortly after the accident, claiming diplomatic immunity.
However, that immunity no longer applies. A letter from British Secretary of State Dominic Raab made it clear that Sacoolas return to the US rendered diplomatic immunity meaningless:
“We have pressed strongly for a waiver of immunity, so that justice can be done … Whilst the US government has steadfastly declined to give that waiver, that is not the end of the matter…We have looked at this very carefully … the UK government’s position is that immunity, and therefore any question of waiver, is no longer relevant in Mrs Sacoolas’ case, because she has returned home.”
In their efforts to receive justice for their son, Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, took their case to the White House, where they had a fifteen minute meeting with Mr. Trump.
In a move echoing his criticism of bereaved mother Ghazala Khan’s silence at the Democratic National Convention, the president informed the Dunns that Mrs. Sacoolas was in the next room and attempted to arrange a meeting between the couple and their son’s purported killer. The Dunns declined the president’s offer, stating that the meeting would be uncomfortable for them without therapists or lawyers present.
Radd Seiger, the family’s legal counsel noted that they felt “ambushed” by having the president push a meeting with Sacoolas on them, and that U.S. National Security advisor Robert O’Brien made it clear Sacoolas would not be returning to the UK and heavily implied there was no point to their visit.
“That made it clear there was not a lot of point in carrying on the discussion,” Seiger stated. “I think the family feel a little ambushed to say the least and disappointed they made the effort to go all the way down there and all the way back up with really no further progress towards achieving the closure that they were so desperately seeking.”
Mrs. Dunn recounted her meeting with the president:”I asked him…if it was your 19-year-old son, or your son…you would be doing the same as me. He was holding my hand at the time and said ‘yes, I would’ and he said maybe we can try and push this from a different angle.
I can only hope that he was sincere enough to consider doing that for us.
He’s the one in control here, but we’re the ones in control of our situation as much as he can be. We still want justice for Harry and we will take it as far as we possibly can to ensure that that’s done.”
Yet despite Mrs. Sacoolas admission that she had been driving on the wrong side of the road at the time of the accident, the US government has not moved to waive her immunity.