President Donald Trump is planning “imminent action” regarding a trio of U.S. military members who have been accused of committing war crimes.
The president has ordered an immediate review of charges against Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and Army Green Beret Maj. Matt Golsteyn.
Additional action is also pending from Trump in the case of former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was acquitted in July in the killing of an ISIS fighter in Iraq, Fox News reported. Trump is said to be interested in restoring Gallagher’s previous rank.
“It doesn’t have to be a pardon or a commutation,” correspondent Pete Hegseth said.
“It could be, but pardons and commutations imply guilt, that you’ve done something wrong and you need to be forgiven for that,” he added.
“The president, as the commander-in-chief, has a lot of latitude under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to dismiss a case or change a sentence. From what I understand, that is likely what will happen here shortly.”
Hegseth said he spoke with President Trump over the weekend. He said the president is keen to action on or before Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day.
Lorance is currently serving a 20-year sentence for instructing his men to shoot a pair of suspected Taliban scouts in 2012 in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province. He had just taken command of the platoon after the prior platoon leader and a number of other troops were killed just days before.
The two Taliban were on motorcycles and matched the description given by a pilot had overflown the area earlier who identified them as scouts.
As for Golsteyn, the president praised him last month and pledged to review the charges against him.
The case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House. Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker. We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill! @PeteHegseth
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2019
The decorated former Green Beret is currently facing trial for the murder of a Taliban bomb-maker in Afghanistan. He was charged with premeditated murder in the death of the suspected militant in 2010.
An initial Army investigation did not come up with sufficient evidence to charge him.
However, the Army opened up a subsequent probe in 2016 and charged Golsteyn with murder in 2018. If convicted, he could face life in prison.