Navy Secretary: Review of Chief Edward Gallagher should proceed despite Trump's opposition

Navy Secretary: Review of Chief Edward Gallagher should proceed despite Trump's opposition

Navy Secretary: Review of Chief Edward Gallagher should proceed despite Trump's opposition

After the Navy announced that it would carry out a Trident review to consider expelling Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher from the SEALs earlier this week, Trump stepped in with a tweet, insisting that nothing of the sort would be happening.

"I believe the process matters for good order and discipline", he told a reporter while at a conference in Halifax, Canada.

That sentence was reversed last week by Trump, who defended Gallagher during and after his court-martial.

"I did not threaten to resign", Spencer said at the Halifax International Security Forum, where he was speaking on a panel about the Arctic.

A decision as to whether Gallagher is ejected from the SEALs, stripping him of his special warfare Trident Pin, ultimately rests with the Navy's personnel command in Washington.

Trump's intercession in the events surrounding in Gallagher's court-martial, despite the support of top Navy leaders for the decision to formally review Gallagher's fitness to remain a SEAL, has been criticized for fueling a crisis in traditional civilian-military relations.

The Navy "will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," Trump said in a tweet. Sarah Higgins, a spokesperson for Spencer, told CNN. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning" and he urged those involved to "Get back to business!"

Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, the Navy's chief of information, told the Union-Tribune on Thursday that the Navy was waiting for Trump to issue more specific orders before officially canceling the review.

But Navy brass notified Gallagher, 40, on Tuesday that a five-member panel of fellow Navy commandos would convene on December 2 to review his case and recommend whether he is fit to remain in the SEALs.

Gallagher was charged with killing a wounded Islamic State captive and shooting civilians during his time in Iraq in 2017. "We are aware of the President's tweet and we are awaiting further guidance". It would include one SEAL officer and four senior enlisted SEALs, according to the two USA officials. Gallagher would retain his rank but be assigned to other duty, though his lawyer has said he will be eligible to retire soon.

Referring to Trump in the second person as if he'd mistakenly meant to send a DM, Grassley argued the Navy's scrutiny constitutes "a direct insult to [you] as commander in chief" and that the president should, "Take whatever steps [you] can to bring COMPLETE justice for Gallagher". He can dispute the evidence given to the board that will include his conviction and call witnesses.

The threats from Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and Rear Adm. Collin Green, who leads the SEALs, left the Department of Defense scrambling for a compromise, the paper reported. Trump pardoned Gallagher of the charge in July.

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