by Evie Fordham
President Donald Trump might be preparing to pardon a handful of military members accused or convicted of war crimes, according to a Saturday report from The New York Times citing two unnamed officials.
The paperwork required for such pardons was reportedly requested on an expedited timeline, meaning they could coincide with Memorial Day weekend, the officials said, according to The NYT.
The report comes after Trump tweeted March 30 about the situation of a Navy SEAL awaiting trial for war crimes. Highly decorated Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher is facing trial at the end of May for alleged war crimes including shooting unarmed civilians and killing an enemy captive.
“In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
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! @foxandfriends @RepRalphNorman
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2019
Trump also said in December 2018 he would be “reviewing the case” of a former U.S. Army Green Beret charged with the premeditated murder of an Afghan while serving in 2010. Former U.S. Army Major Mathew Golsteyn is charged with murdering an unarmed suspected Taliban bomb maker during a deployment in 2010.
Trump might also pardon former Blackwater security contractor Nicholas Slatten, according to The NYT. Slatten was convicted in December 2018 of murder at his third trial in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq, reported The Associated Press.
Trump pardoned another member of the military earlier in May. The president issued a full pardon May 6 to former Army First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who served five years in prison after being convicted of murdering a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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