Trump Orders Revocation of Achievement Medals From Prosecutors in Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s Case

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
August 1, 2019 Updated: November 16, 2019

President Donald Trump ordered the Navy to revoke the achievement medals from the prosecutors in Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s case on July 31, almost a month after he was found not guilty of war crimes in Iraq.

Gallagher, 40 was found not guilty of murdering an ISIS prisoner by a military jury in California on July 2. He had been accused of killing the prisoner, who was wounded by an airstrike.

The jury found Gallagher not guilty of all counts except for the violation of posing for photographs with a dead war casualty.

Even after losing the case, the members of the team that prosecuted Gallagher that included four attorneys and four legal support staff were awarded medals.

Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher. (Andrea and Edward Gallagher/File Photo via AP)

“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,” Trump said in a message on Twitter.

“Not only did they lose the case, they had difficulty with respect to information that may have been obtained from opposing lawyers and for giving immunity in a totally incompetent fashion. I have directed the Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer & Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson to immediately withdraw and rescind the awards,” wrote the President.

“I am very happy for Eddie Gallagher and his family!” Trump concluded his message on Twitter.

The four prosecuting attorneys who received the awards were: Lt. George Hageman, Lt. Brian John, Lt. Scott McDonald and the fourth attorney’s name was redacted in the citation, according to Task and Purpose that obtained a copy of the awarded citations.

The award ceremony was held in one of the courtrooms by the Navy’s Region Legal Service Office (RLSO) in San Diego on July 10.

According to Task and Purpose, the Navy Achievement Medals “commended the trial teams” and appreciated “exceptional witness preparation,” “expert litigation on constitutional issues,” and “superb results.”

After Gallagher was found not guilty of war crimes, his defense attorney said the trial exposed many shortcomings in the military justice system.

“Although this trial has exposed many concerning shortcomings within the military justice system, the service members who served on the jury fulfilled their constitutional duties and ensured that nothing less than justice was done,” Parlatore Law Group said in a statement.

Timothy C. Parlatore, the founder and the managing partner of Parlatore Law Group, welcomed Trump’s decision to revoke the achievement medals from the defense attorneys.

“Once again the Commander In Chief has stepped in to exert leadership when Navy leadership failed to do the right thing,” Parlatore said in a statement to The Epoch Times.

Trump had been following and intervening in the Gallagher case since earlier this year when he ordered that Gallagher be moved to “less restrictive confinement” in honor of his past service.

On Gallagher’s acquittal, Trump had congratulated him and had said that he was glad to help.

“Congratulations to Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, his wonderful wife Andrea, and his entire family,” Trump wrote in a missive on Twitter on July 3. “You have been through much together. Glad I could help!”

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya