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President Donald Trump may be preparing to issue a controversial pardon for a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes who was reported by the men who served with him.
Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher is one of a number of service members accused or convicted of war crimes whom Trump may be considering pardoning, The New York Times reported Saturday. The Trump administration requested background paperwork on the men for possible pardons by Memorial Day.
Gallagher is charged with firing on civilians in Iraq in 2017, and fatally stabbing a wounded teenage ISIS fighter. He allegedly bragged about racking up civilian kills and threatened members of his SEAL team if they reported him. He has pleaded not guilty.
According to a military investigation report viewed by the Times, Navy SEAL commandos from Team 7’s Alpha Platoon were warned by their superiors — friends of Gallagher — that they risked their careers by speaking out against him.
Gallagher’s lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, was surprised to hear about Trump’s action, and said that ideally his client would be acquitted at his trial. But just days earlier, defense attorneys demanded a hold on the case and that prosecutors stop monitoring defense emails in a hunt for a document leak, according to court filings obtained by The Associated Press.
In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal #EddieGallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly! @foxandfriends @RepRalphNorman— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2019
Pardoning Gallagher, praising him and raising him up as some sort of hero specifically for the possible butchery of helpless prisoners and innocents, spits on the honor of the US Navy and every single one of us who served with distinction and conviction to our oaths.— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) May 19, 2019
I’m sorry if I am exhausting my followers on this topic but pardoning war crimes is not “supporting the troops”. We can’t condone extrajudicial murders. This goes against everything we are trained and raised to uphold. It’s not just the day it’s pardons that must be stopped. https://t.co/SLqcfo28Ht— Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) May 19, 2019
We've lost our way if we even consider a pardon for Ed Gallagher. If you have anything to do with staffing this decision and aren't doing everything you can to stop it, you're as much a part of the problem as anyone. https://t.co/22F7iu33lP— Herbal (@HerbCarmen) May 19, 2019
Combat veteran I know just texted me, furious: “Pardoning convicted war criminals is a slap in the face to everyone who fought honorably. To everyone who didn’t commit war crimes. To everyone who chose the harder right over the easier wrong...— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 19, 2019
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