Report: Trump Will Take Imminent Action on Cases of 3 Military Members Accused of War Crimes

November 4, 2019 Updated: November 4, 2019

President Donald Trump is expected to intervene in the cases of Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, and Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.

According to Fox News, Trump may order the U.S. Army to dismiss charges against Golsteyn and Lorance while having the Navy make Gallagher a chief again.

Gallagher was found not guilty of killing a wounded ISIS terrorist, but he was convicted of posing with a photo of the dead militant. He was demoted to petty officer first class.

Meanwhile, Golsteyn was accused of murder after he admitted to killing an unarmed Afghan man about 10 years ago after thinking he was a bomb-maker for the Taliban. In 2013, Lorance was convicted for ordering soldiers to open fire on three men who were thought to be Taliban bomb-makers.

The president is expected to intervene in the three cases before Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11, according to the report.

Edward Gallagher and wife
Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher and his wife Andrea celebrate after being acquitted of all but one charge in San Diego, Calif., on July 2, 2019. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

A Fox News contributor, Pete Hegseth, said that he spoke to the president over the weekend about the cases, saying that the action would be taken soon. Trump praised Golsteyn in October and said he would review the charges against him.

“The case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House. Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker. We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill,” Trump tweeted on Oct. 12.

Golsteyn’s lawyer, Phillip Stackhouse, told magazine Task & Purpose that Trump is expected to speak to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy about the case.

“We are very grateful the president is taking action in Major Golsteyn’s case,” Stackhouse said on Monday, according to the news outlet. “As the most senior court-martial convening authority under the Code, the president has many options available to him—including assuming jurisdiction of this case and dismissing the charge with prejudice.”

Lorance’s lawyer, Don Brown, told the same website that he hopes Trump “will sign and order to disapprove the findings and sentencing of Clint’s court-martial; to order him released immediately from Leavenworth and to order to the secretary of the Army to return him to active-duty.”

Trump makes a statement
President Donald Trump makes a statement in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Oct. 27, 2019. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Gallagher’s attorney Timothy Parlatore said that he has already lost his nomination for a Silver Star and $200,000 in pension earnings.

“If you choose to move forward with any further unlawful retaliatory efforts against our client, we are prepared to use every additional option available to us including, but not limited to, an Article 138 complaint, a criminal complaint for violating UCMJ Article 132, and a lawsuit before the Court of Federal Claims,” Parlatore wrote, according to the magazine.

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