Trump Intervenes in Military War Crimes Cases, Issues Pardons Over Pentagon Objections

Trump Pardon

Trump Pardon

President Trump has intervened in three military justice cases, issuing at least two pardons where USA service members have been accused of war crimes, The Washington Post reported on Friday. "These actions are in keeping with this long history", the statement said. He had been convicted in 2013.

As the commander-in-chief, Trump has the authority to issue pardons, even before the completion of a trial, according to Eugene Fidell, a military justice lecturer at Yale Law School and a former US Coast Guard judge advocate. Matthew Golsteyn, a West Point graduate, who was awaiting trial for allegedly murdering a suspected Afghan bombmaker in 2010.

In addition to the pardons, Trump restored Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher to grade E-7, the rank he held before he was tried and convicted of posing with the corpse of an Islamic State militant. Gallagher had been acquitted of murder and other serious charges in July 2019.

In May, Trump talked about how he was considering pardons for US troops charged with war crimes, a move he acknowledged would be controversial but that he said was justified because they had been treated "unfairly". The trial was scheduled for next year. On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had advised the commander-in-chief not to interfere in the high profile cases.

Boris Johnson to chair emergency meeting over flooding
The prime minister is to chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee later in response to floods in northern England. Another told him: "You've took your time Boris, haven't you?", to which Mr Johnson replied: "We've been on it round the clock".

US President Donald Trump intervened in three military justice cases involving war-crimes accusations Friday, issuing at least two pardons that will prevent the Pentagon from pursuing future charges against the individuals involved. Trump tweeted, "We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!"

Asked last week if he supported the exoneration of Gallagher, Golsteyn and Lorance, Esper told reporters that he had a "robust discussion" with the president about the issue and offered his advice and recommendations.

"There are no words to adequately express how grateful my family and I are to our President - Donald J. Trump - for his intervention and decision", Gallagher said in a statement on Instagram. "As the President has stated, 'when our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight'".

"The President, as Commander-in-Chief, is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced and when appropriate, that mercy is granted", the White House statement said.

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