Trump Goes After Prosecutors Who Tried Navy SEAL
The prosecutors received medals for "superb results" and "expert litigation," despite losing their high-profile case against Special Warfare Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher.
And President Donald Trump is firing back:
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. Not only did they lose the case, they had difficulty with respect....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2019
....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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2019
....I am very happy for Eddie Gallagher and his family!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2019
The Washington Examiner further reports:
The prosecutors were praised for "superior results," despite losing the trial, and for "exceptional witness preparation," despite the fact that one of the prosecution's witnesses surprised the court by admitting that he, not Gallagher, was responsible for the death of an injured ISIS fighter in question. [emphasis added]
Lt. Scott McDonald, who took over as lead prosecutor one month before the trial, was praised for his pretrial review of evidence over a two-week period in his citation. Lt. Brian John's citation said he "took the lead in preparing the government's most challenging witnesses." Lt. George Hageman was cited for "exceptional pretrial litigation support."
Gallagher's defense team accused the prosecution of impropriety during the case's proceedings. In May, it was discovered that the prosecution team had installed email tracking software in their correspondence with the defense. In response, Capt. Aaron Rugh, the judge overseeing the case, dismissed lead prosecutor, Cmdr. Chris Czaplak. [emphasis added]
Established in 1961, the Navy Achievement Medal is awarded for "meritorious service or achievement in either combat or noncombat situations based on sustained performance or superlative nature" that does not qualify for a Commendation Medal, the next highest award, according to the Navy and Marine Corps awards manual.