Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher accused of war crimes will be transferred to a “less restrictive” prison until his trial, President Trump said recently. “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,” Trump tweeted. “Process should move quickly!”
According to reporting by the New York Post, Gallagher has been held in the Navy’s high-security brig in San Diego since September on an array of charges, including stabbing a wounded prisoner of war to death and shooting at civilians unprovoked, while on one of his eight deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Republican lawmakers have been pressing the Navy to free Gallagher ahead of his June trial date.
“He risked his life serving abroad to protect the rights of all of us here at home,” Rep. Ralph Norman (R-South Carolina) said on during a recent guest appearance on Fox and Friends.
GOP Supports Calls for Leniency for Gallagher
According to Fox News, Gallagher is facing premeditated murder and aggravated assault charges stemming from the alleged war crimes. 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 tweets regarding more lenient treatment for Gallagher have significant support by the GOP. Trump referenced Norman’s Fox and Friends appearance, where he repeated Norman’s words saying, “they’ve got him in with rapists, they’ve got him in with pedophiles.”
Speaking to the host, Norman also said, “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’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.