Trump Orders Navy to Rescind Medals Given to SEAL Eddie Gallagher's Prosecutors

Trump is returning to Washington after spending the weekend at his Bedminster New Jersey golf resort. (P

Trump is returning to Washington after spending the weekend at his Bedminster New Jersey golf resort. (P

He said the prosecutors were "ridiculously given a Navy achievement medal" and that they had given immunity in a "totall incompetent fashion".

According to Task and goal, the Navy's Region Legal Service Office (RLSO) in San Diego hosted an award ceremony on July 10 in one of its courtrooms for the attorneys and staffers, during which the RLSO Chief of Staff said words to the effect of "no matter the result, we were right to prosecute [Gallagher]", and "justice was done".

Gallagher also was found not guilty of attempted murder charges stemming from the wounding of two unarmed civilians - a school girl and an elderly man - who were shot from a sniper's perch.

"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 tweeted Wednesday.

Gallagher was accused of committing several war crimes in 2017, including the killing of a wounded Islamic State combatant, during a deployment to Iraq.

The four attorneys serving as the prosecution in the Gallagher court-martial were given the medal for "superb results" and "expert litigation", according to a report by Task and goal based on legal documents that the website obtained.

Navy spokesman Cdr. Jereal Dorsey said that on Wednesday, after Trump's tweet, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer rescinded the awards.

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The President's criticisms appeared to stem from prosecutors' decision to give immunity to a key witness in the case who testified that he - not Gallagher - had killed the ISIS captive, as well as the former lead prosecutor's improper use of email software in emails to defense lawyers. Trump then cheered the not-guilty verdict, tweeting "congratulations" to Gallagher and his family. But the jury sentenced him to a demotion in rank and pay for the crime of posing for pictures with a human casualty.

Gallagher will serve no jail time because he spent almost nine months in pre-trial custody.

Defense lawyers had argued that Gallagher was framed by junior disgruntled platoon members who fabricated the allegations to oust their chief. The prosecution said Gallagher was incriminated by his own text messages and photos, including one of him holding the dead militant up by the hair and clutching a knife in his other hand.

Gallagher became a cause celebre in some conservative circles and his trial soon drew Trump's attention, with the commander in chief ordering that Gallagher be moved to "less restrictive confinement" while awaiting trail.

It was not immediately clear what awards Trump was referring to on Twitter. His lawyers said they planned to appeal.

In May, Trump said publicly that he was considering pardons for a number of USA military personnel accused of war crimes, and Gallagher's case was widely believed to be one of those under review.

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