Navy Presses Forward With SEAL Status Review of Eddie Gallagher, Despite Trump Tweet Supporting Him
The President of the United States and the US Navy are on a collision course, after the SEAL team’s top commander said the Navy will continue with a review board of Chief Eddie Gallagher even after Donald Trump promised that the special operator will remain in the elite commando force.
According to Reuters, Rear Admiral Collin Green now plans on pursuing a “trident review board” of Gallagher, who was acquitted of the war crime of murder earlier this year but was convicted of a lesser charge of bad conduct for posing with the corpse of a Iraqi detainee killed in custody. Gallagher was demoted and lost pay after that conviction, but Trump ordered his rank and pay restored last week.
Gallagher’s case had become a cause célèbre on Fox News, with Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth openly called for pardoning Gallagher before his war crimes trial in June while also privately lobbying Trump for the same move.
On Thursday morning, after news reports that Gallagher was in danger of being drummed out of the SEALS, Trump posted a proclamation on Twitter denying the move. “The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin,” Trump wrote, referring to the gold trident insignia that Navy SEALS wear on their uniform.
The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
Nevertheless, Rear Adm. Green informed Gallagher’s lawyer that a “trident review board” of Gallagher is still planned.
“Trump’s tweet on Thursday appeared to escalate the prospect of a showdown between the president and senior Navy leadership supporting Green’s decision to review Gallagher’s SEAL status,” Reuters reports.
Gallagher’s lead defense attorney, Timothy Parlatore, told Reuters that Trump’s Twitter post was “unequivocal,” and that the Navy should be treated as a “direct and lawful order from the commander-in-chief.”
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