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Trump Nixes Awards for SEAL Prosecutors

Four military attorneys were awarded in the Edward Gallagher case
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2019 2:05 PM CDT
Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, right, walks with his wife, Andrea Gallagher as they leave a military court on Naval Base San Diego, Tuesday, July 2, 2019, in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

(Newser) – Prosecutors who sought to punish a decorated Navy SEAL won't be getting their medals after all, NPR reports. President Trump tweeted Wednesday that military awards granted to prosecutors in the Edward Gallagher case be rescinded, and the Navy quickly obliged. Gallagher had been acquitted of killing an ISIS captive in 2017 in Iraq. "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 wrote. "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."

The case indeed had problems, with the lead prosecutor removed for spying on the defense team's emails. Prosecutors were also accused trying to block pro-Gallagher witnesses; conducting illegal document leaks to the media; altering witness statements; and trying to cover up those actions, per the Navy Times. As for immunity, they granted it to a medic who wrecked the case by altering his testimony at the last minute, saying he killed the prisoner in an act of mercy after Gallagher had stabbed him, per Reuters. The prosecutors weren't found guilty of wrongdoing but did get sanctioned by a judge. Four military attorneys received the medals a few days after Gallagher "strolled out of a Naval Base San Diego courtroom a free man," the Navy Times noted last month. (Read more Navy stories.)

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