The president has done a lot of things that people can’t understand, but the most shocking things he’s done are his attempts to pardon people who have been convicted of war crimes. It’s unimaginable why anyone would want a trained killer on the streets, but as someone with secret service detail for the rest of his life, Trump is likely not worried about the streets at all.
Trump also doesn’t care that attempting to override military court decisions is totally disrespectful on so many levels. Not only is it a jab at legal military institutions that keep our branches ethical and strong, but it is a stab in the heart to the nation the crimes were against, namely the families of the victims.
Now, according to the NY Times, the secretary of the Navy and SEAL admiral have threatened to resign if the review of Edward Gallagher is halted because the president expressed his wishes to see him set free on Twitter.
Just days ago, Trump tweeted:
“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!”
Trump was already warned that if he continued going against the military’s findings, he would almost certainly be faced with the resignation of Navy secretary, Richard Spencer and the commander, Rear Adm. Collin Green.
Trump’s reasoning behind his interjection into this particular instance is likely motivated by blind bigotry for the Muslim people. Trump has long hated Muslims, and Gallagher’s crimes were against Muslims.
According to NY Times:
The Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer, later denied that he had threatened to resign but said disciplinary plans against Chief Gallagher would proceed because he did not consider Mr. Trump’s statement on Twitter to be a formal order. Mr. Spencer added that the president, as commander in chief, had the authority to intervene and that it would stop “the process.”
Chief Gallagher, who counts Mr. Trump as one of his most vocal supporters, was accused of shooting civilians, murdering a captive Islamic State fighter with a hunting knife in Iraq, and threatening to kill SEALs who reported him, among other misconduct. His court-martial ended in acquittal on those charges.
The 40-year old Iraq veteran was acquitted of murder last summer, but was found guilty of posing for pictures with a dead ISIS fighter in 2017. Gallagher didn’t even get kicked out of the Navy, but a loss in pay and a rank demotion was still too much according to the president.