Saturday President Trump announced that Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who is accused of war crimes in Iraq, will be moved to ‘less restrictive confinement’ — apparently in response to a push by Republican lawmakers advocating for Gallagher.
“In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal #EddieGallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly!” Trump tweeted.
Gallagher is facing premeditated murder and aggravated assault charges stemming from the alleged killing of an injured ISIS prisoner and alleged instances of him intentionally firing sniper rounds at civilians.
He has spent six months of detention at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in California. He is not expected to emerge until the start of his war crimes trial on May 28.
Trump’s tweet comes amid a growing push from Republican lawmakers for better treatment for Gallagher. Trump referenced Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., who appeared on “Fox and Friends” on Friday, where he repeated those calls — saying “they’ve got him in with rapists, they’ve got him in with pedophiles.”
“This man spent 20 years of his life, he spent 15 of it as a SEAL, he volunteered to serve this country overseas not once, not twice, but eight times and the least they can do is have him in confinement if they need be and let him have…medical treatment, let him get his proper legal defense team together,” Norman said.
Norman’s comments come after Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw — who lost sight in his right eye after being hit by an IED explosion in Afghanistan — and 17 other House Republicans sent a letter to the Secretary of the Navy this month raising concerns that Gallagher has been receiving limited access to food, medical care and his legal team.
“Chief Gallagher is a decorated warfighter who, like all service members, is entitled to the presumption of innocence while awaiting court-martial,” the Republicans wrote in their letter to Richard Spencer.
“We have received reports that Chief Gallagher’s access to counsel and access to food and medical care may have been restricted,” they added. “As a result, we respectfully request that you review the Navy policies governing pretrial confinement for Chief Gallagher and other service members to ensure compliance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”