- President Donald Trump said he would “review” the case of Major Matthew Golsteyn in a tweet Sunday.
- The Army charged Golsteyn, a former Green Beret, with the murder of an Afghan male when he was deployed in 2010.
- The case was first investigated in 2011 and again in 2016.
In a tweet Sunday morning, President Donald Trump said he would look into the case of former Green Beret Major Matthew Golsteyn, after a Sunday “Fox and Friends” segment about he topic aired.
“At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Military hero,’ Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder,” Trump tweeted. “He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas.”
He then tagged “Fox and Friends” weekend co-host Pete Hegseth and “Fox News” in the tweet.
At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a “U.S. Military hero,” Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder. He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas. @PeteHegseth @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
Hegseth spoke with Golsteyn’s attorneyPhil Stackhouse on “Fox and Friends” Sunday morning. Stackhouse tweeted on Saturday that he had a scheduled appearance on the morning show Sunday at 7:20 a.m. ET.
“The prosecutor in this case has intimated to me, that they have new evidence, but this allegation happened in 2010, in February of 2010,” Stackhouse said on the show. “The Army became aware of it in 2011, and it’s been investigated the entire time. What new evidence could there possibly be from 2010?”
Trump’s tweet about reviewing the case was posted at 10:03 a.m. ET.
The Army charged Golsteyn, a Special Forces officer and Afghanistan war veteran, with murder Thursday.
US Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer told Task & Purpose, “Major Matthew Golsteyn’s immediate commander has determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him. Maj. Golsteyn is being charged with the murder of an Afghan male during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.”
The Green Beret was first investigated in 2011 after he confessed to killing the man during a polygraph test as part of an interview for a CIA job. The investigation ended in 2o14 but was reopened in 2016 when Golsteyn admitted to killing a bomb maker in an interview with “Fox News.”
Author and combat veteran Sean Parnell tweeted on Saturday that the murder charge was “absolute garbage.”
“When American troops are sent into a war, the mission is to win,” Parnell tweeted. “You win by killing the enemy The man this Green Beret killed was not an innocent civilian, he was a terrorist thug who had American blood on his hands. What a tragic miscarriage of justice.”
It’s unclear what Trump means by “review,” but as president, Trump has the executive authority to pardon or commute a person’s sentence. Trump has granted clemency to nine people since taking office.
The president has a history of granting clemency to people based on public outcry or political affiliation.
He commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother and great-grandmother serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offence, in June 2018 one week after meeting with Kim Kardashian West at the White House. West had been a vocal advocate for the grandmother’s release since she saw a viral video about Johnson from Mic in October 2017.
Trump pardoned former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, whose case was compared to that of Hillary Clinton’s private email server by conservative outlets like Fox News, in March. Saucier pleaded guilty in 2016 and served one year in prison for taking photos of classified areas inside a nuclear submarine in 2009.
This also isn’t the first time Trump has tweeted in reaction to a story on Fox. Politico’s Matthew Gertz examined Trump’s tweeting habits in relation to the news channel and found multiple correlations.
On January 2, 2018, Trump tweeted about having a nuclear button on his desk minutes after a “Fox News” segment on North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un saying he has a nuclear button on his desk. That same day, he tweeted responses to at least five more stories on “Fox and Friends.”
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