SAN DIEGO — Decorated Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher has been in custody at MCAS Miramar for allegedly stabbing an ISIS prisoner to death in Iraq, shooting civilians and more. But a new report by the New York Times claims President Trump requested paperwork for an expedited pardon for Gallagher.
Gallagher is scheduled to go on trial for alleged war crimes in just over a week on May 28, but the news from inside the Trump administration could change everything.
"They've been looking for any opportunity for this nightmare to end, so they always have that cautious optimism,” said Tim Parlatore, Gallagher’s head attorney. “The idea that it could all just end, and he could go home a free man, that's a very exciting possibility. At the same time, my team and I - we can't stop pushing forward.”
The case against Gallagher is unique due to the seriousness of the allegations and the fact fellow Navy SEALs are the ones who reported him. They told authorities the 19-year Navy veteran indiscriminately shot at civilians killing a young girl and an unarmed elderly man and that he stabbed a teenage captive and then posed with his corpse during his re-enlistment ceremony.
Gallagher denies the allegations.
"Now we're going up to the trial, which is a tremendously traumatic and stressful experience for anybody,” said Parlatore.
According to the New York Times report, this week President Trump made expedited requests for paperwork needed to pardon the troops on or around Memorial Day. And while Parlatore says Gallagher would be overjoyed with a pardon, he says the Navy SEAL was also looking forward to his day in court.
“He would love nothing more than to go into this public trial, let everybody see all the truth hidden from them, but at same time there's a risk,” said Parlatore.