In a stunning end to a trial that captivated the nation, a jury has found Special Warfare Chief Edward Gallagher not guilty.
Trump had considered pardoning the decorated veteran and the media and the Democrats went crazy.
They said it would hurt morale and that Trump needed to stay out of it. But as it usually happens with the hysterical left, their fears were unfounded.
Justice was served by a jury, not Trump.
The jury assigned to the case of accused Special Warfare Chief Edward Gallagher has found the decorated Navy SEAL not guilty of murder and attempted murder after a whirlwind trial that included bombshell revelations and twists.
The verdict was reached by the five Marines and two sailors on Tuesday after the prosecution and defense made their closing arguments the day before.
Gallagher, 40, was accused of stabbing an injured teenage ISIS fighter to death and of shooting at civilians during a deployment to Iraq in 2017. Seven members of Gallagher’s own platoon leveled the accusations against him, describing him as a reckless murderer who failed to distinguish between civilians and the enemy.
The accusers communicated through a WhatsApp group called “The Sewing Circle,” a seemingly innocuous name for a group dedicated to discussing the alleged war crimes of a decorated sniper and medic. These discussions would be the basis on which Navy prosecutors would bring charges against Gallagher.
The case received national attention after a searing New York Times report detailed Gallagher’s gorey accusations, including the stabbing of an injured teenage ISIS fighter and shooting an elderly man and a young girl. The report claimed the accusers were told to keep quiet about Gallagher’s actions, or risk losing their tridents — the coveted badge identifying a sailor as a Navy SEAL.
Gallagher’s case drew further attention in May when it was reported that he was one of several accused troops being considered for a pardon from President Trump. The news sharply divided the military community, and even the Navy SEALs themselves. The SEAL community is known for being especially close knit, but the Gallagher case created a clear division between old-school defenders and younger skeptics.
“When I heard about it first, I said, ‘That’s impossible, it’s outright stupid. It’s going to go away.’ Well, it didn’t,” Thomas “Drago” Dzieran, a former Navy SEAL, told the Washington Examiner in May.
“I said, I cannot sit on the sidelines, I need to take [a stand] and bring it up. What they do is not right.”
The testimony against Gallagher appeared damning, but the case took an unexpected turn when Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott admitted it was he — not Gallagher — that was responsible for the death of the injured teenage fighter. Scott admitted to seeing Gallagher stab the teen, but said he asphyxiated him in an effort to save him from his Iraqi captors, who he had seen torture, rape, and kill other prisoners.
“I knew he was going to die anyway,” said Scott, a trained combat medic. “I wanted to save him from waking up to what had happened next.”
The shocking revelation caused a flustered Navy prosecutor to call Scott a liar. Navy officials later informed Scott through his lawyer that he may face perjury charges if he lied to investigators or during his testimony.
Gallagher’s defense team presented two witnesses, Marine Staff Sgt. Giorgio Kirylo and Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri, who both denied seeing Gallagher stab the teenager at all. Gallagher’s spotter, Special Operator 1st Class Joshua Graffam, testified that he and Gallagher both believed the elderly man Gallagher shot was actually an ISIS operative between the ages of 40 and 50.
Parlatore and lead prosecutor Cmdr. Jeff Pietrzyk summed up the testimony in their closing arguments on Monday.
Pietrzyk admitted that before being injured, the fighter “would have done anything in his power to kill an American.” But he noted that after his capture, the teen was no longer a lawful target.”