President Trump on Wednesday hailed a jury verdict that cleared a Navy SEAL of murder in the killing of a wounded ISIS fighter under his care in Iraq in 2017 — adding that he was happy to have helped the decorated veteran.
“Congratulations to Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, his wonderful wife Andrea, and his entire family. You have been through much together. Glad I could help!” Trump tweeted about Tuesdays verdict, after the decorated veteran had thanked him for his support.
The president had considered pardoning Gallagher in May before the case went to trial, but later said he would wait until the case was over before deciding what to do.
“Some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard and long,” the president said at the time.
“We teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight sometimes they get really treated very unfairly. So were going to take a look at it.”
And in March, Trump said that in “honor of his past service to our Country,” he was having the Bronze Star recipient moved to “less restrictive confinement” while he awaited trial.
Gallagher, meanwhile, thanked Trump and Fox News, which championed his cause, on Wednesday morning.
“I want to say thank you to you, Fox News … for being with us from day one,” Gallagher said on “Fox & Friends.”
“You guys backed us from the beginning. I also want to say thank you to Congressman Duncan Hunter and Congressman Ralph Norman, and also to President Trump for intervening when he did,” Gallagher said of GOP Reps. Norman of South Carolina and Hunter of California, who is facing trial on federal corruption charges.
Meanwhile, the same military jurors who acquitted Gallagher returned to court Wednesday to decide whether he should serve any jail time for the single charge he was convicted of — posing with the 17-year-old militants corpse.
The jury Tuesday also cleared Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of attempted murder in the shootings of two civilians and all other charges.
The outcome dealt a major blow to one of the Navys most high-profile war crimes cases and exposed a generational conflict within the ranks of the elite special operations forces.
Gallagher could face up to four months imprisonment