- President Donald Trump has ordered Navy leaders to take away the awards that were given to Navy prosecutors who failed to convict Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher of murder in a high-profile war crimes trial.
- The prosecution, but not the defence, was given Navy Achievement Medals for their “superb results,” despite losing the case after suffering setback after setback before and during the trial.
- Gallagher’s defence attorney Timothy Parlatore told INSIDER that “every prosecutor on that team utterly failed.” One of Trump’s personal attorneys defended Gallagher at the court-martial.
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President Donald Trump has ordered Navy leaders to strip the awards that were “ridiculously given” to Navy prosecutors who tried and failed to convict Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher of murder in a high-profile war crimes trial that ended earlier this month.
“The Prosecutors who lost the case against SEAL Eddie Gallagher (who I released from solitary confinement so he could fight his case properly), were ridiculously given a Navy Achievement Medal,” the president tweetedWednesday. “I have directed the Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer & Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson to immediately withdraw and rescind the awards.”
The president’s tweets follow reports revealing that the prosecution received Navy Achievement Medals and were commended for achieving “superb results.”
In the lead up to the trial, the lead prosecutor Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak was removed from the case after he and his team allegedly spied on the defence, which included one of the president’s personal attorneys, as well as a member of the media.
During the trial, the prosecution suffered another setback when prosecution witness Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, who testified with immunity, unexpectedly confessed to murdering the prisoner of war that Gallagher was accused of killing, forcing the prosecution to impugn their own witness.
At the end of the trial, Gallagher was cleared of all charges, except for unlawfully taking a photo with the dead body of an enemy combatant, a crime for which he will not serve any additional prison time.
“Every prosecutor on that team utterly failed,” Gallagher’s civilian defence attorney Timothy Parlatore told INSIDER Tuesday. He said that the two military defence attorneys – Maj. Nelson Candelario and Lt. Gregory Gianoni – who defended Gallagher, did not receive awards for their actions during the court martial.
Throughout the entire process, Trump demonstrated support for Gallagher, a decorated US warfighter who was charged with stabbing a prisoner of war to death and shooting civilians in Iraq. He was also charged with obstruction of justice.
Tweeting Wednesday, Trump said, “I am very happy for Eddie Gallagher and his family!”