Sailor who was pardoned by Trump for war crimes, could be ousted from Navy Seals

A US Navy Seal who was accused of war crimes is expected be ousted from the elite force, despite being cleared last week by President Donald Trump.

Edward Gallagher was accused of stabbing an unarmed 17-year-old Islamic State group prisoner to death and randomly shooting Iraqi civilians.

He was acquitted of those charges and convicted only of the lesser charge of posing with the IS prisoner’s corpse.

Trump cleared him of wrongdoing, against advice from defence officials.

In doing so the president reversed a single-rank demotion handed to Chief Petty Officer Gallagher for posing with the corpse, bringing to a close one of the most high-profile war crimes cases in the US Navy’s history.

Reports in the US media suggest that Gallagher will appear before Navy leaders on Wednesday and is expected to be stripped of his membership of the Seals.

However the plan to strip Gallagher of his Trident pin could put the Navy’s most senior officials on a collision course with the president, who is the commander in chief of all of the US armed forces.

Trump has drawn criticism from parts of the military after pardoning army officers convicted of war crimes. The president last week pardoned Clint Lorance, a former Army lieutenant, freeing him from a military prison where he was serving a 19-year sentence for the murder of two Afghan civilians.

The president also ordered the full pardon of Major Mathew Golsteyn, who was facing murder charges for killing an unarmed Afghan.

Meanwhile, the White House defended the pardons, saying in a statement: “As the President has stated, ‘when our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight.'”

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