Donald Trump has been helping convicted and accused war criminals avoid consequences for their actions. Now he wants them to campaign for him during his 2020 reelection, The Daily Beast reported.
The men Trump wants to see on the campaign trail include Army Lt. Clint Lorance who, in 2013, was sentenced to 19 years for two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder of civilians in Afghanistan. He ordered his soldiers to shoot three unarmed Afghan men riding a motorcycle, according to the Army Times. He was released from military prison at Fort Leavenworth on Nov. 15.
Also on Trump’s wishlist is Special Forces Major Mathew Golsteyn, who was also charged with killing an unarmed Afghan civilian. He told the CIA he believed the man was a Taliban bombmaker, but upon review of the case, the Green Berets stripped Golsteyn of his Special-Forces tab. Golsteyn was scheduled to go to trial for the killing and for burning the man’s corpse next month.
Trump pardoned Lorance and Golsteyn. It was reported that senior ranks of the Pentagon and the military did not agree with Trump’s decisions.
A war criminal. Trump… wants… to… bring a war criminal on the campaign trail. https://t.co/FZFLOxSKP0
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) November 26, 2019
Lastly, Trump mentioned Chief Petty Officer and Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who had his demotion reversed by the president. Two of Gallagher’s own platoonmates testified that they saw the solder stab a wounded teenager in the neck. Records show Gallagher sent a photo with the corpse and texted it with the following: “good story behind this, got him with my hunting knife.”
I can’t believe we’re here again. Trump’s pardons put our soldiers in harm’s way. Other countries will assume our soldiers are permitted by the president to commit war crimes w/impunity. It also disregards the victims & insults all law-abiding US troops. https://t.co/48wTQRJfqz
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) November 16, 2019
Trump recently went against military leaders and overruled their decisions to punish three soldiers convicted or accused of committing war crimes. Two Trump allies told The Daily Beast he talked about wanting the three soldiers to show up at his reelection rallies. He also mentioned bringing them on stage at his renomination convention in Charlotte in 2020.
Eddie Gallagher was accused of murdering a teenage captive and then posed with his body and sent texts. He's a war criminal. This is who Trump and Republicans pardon and exalt. Meanwhile Lt. Col. Vindman, Purple Heart recipient, is smeared with an anti semitic conspiracy.
— Wajahat "Abu Khadija" Ali (@WajahatAli) November 24, 2019
In response to Trump’s decisions, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer left the administration with a scathing resignation letter. It read in part that Spencer couldn’t “in good conscience” carry out the president’s demand to the Navy regarding Gallagher.
“The Constitution, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all,” he wrote. “Unfortunately it has become apparent in this respect that I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline.”