After nearly four months in the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego, Navy SEAL Edward “Eddie” Gallagher was arraigned Friday for the alleged killing of an ISIS prisoner.
Approximately seven weeks after Gallagher’s Article 32 hearing to review the evidence and determine whether or not to proceed with a court-martial, Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey, Commander of Navy Region Southwest, decided that Gallagher would be arraigned Friday. His court-martial date was set for Feb. 19.
Gallagher’s attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, told Fox News ahead of the arraignment that Gallagher would be entering “not guilty pleas” against all charges. Gallagher’s wife, Andrea Gallagher, later posted to Instgram that her husband pleaded “not guilty” to all charges.
🇺🇸 UPDATE 🇺🇸 • • Eddie was arraigned on Friday January 4th. He pleaded NOT GUILTY to ALL charges. The judge additionally took evidence on our legal teams motions to release Eddie from pre-trial confinement where he has been for FOUR months. 😤😭 • • The Judge👨🏻⚖️heard from four Navy SEALs who have known Eddie from between eight and fifteen years who all testify to his outstanding military character, leadership, and reputation in the SEAL community. They highlighted that he was the sailor of the year for all of the SEALs on the West Coast, that his reputation in combat was unparalleled and that they would all actively seek to work with him even pending the allegations. 🇺🇸🙏🏻 • • The court also heard testimony from the traumatic brain injury clinic where he was undergoing diagnostics and treatment when he was arrested and thrown into the naval brig and a highly respected Navy SEAL Non Profit Founder in regard to some of the more OUTRAGEOUS accusations. 🐸 🔱 • • Finally, Andrea ~ Eddie’s loving & devoted wife 👸🏼 And the father of a navy SEAL killed in combat approximately four years ago (a GOLD STAR ⭐️ father) who has opened his house up for Eddie to stay in if he is released from confinement. ♥️ • • After taking the evidence, the judge indicated he would issue a ruling on this motion early next week. We are cautiously optimistic he will be released. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 #FREEEDDIE • • At the hearing, there were approximately three to four dozen supporters, most of whom were denied access to the court room due to lack of space and lack of planning for the overflow situation created by the overwhelming support Eddie maintains from the community.💯🥰 • • The court also set a trial dates for the 2nd week February 19, 2019 – over our objection. We requested the trial to begin immediately. Eddie has been waiting eagerly to refute the false claims against him, face his accusers, and clear his name. 🇺🇸🙏🏻 •Special thanks to all our loyal friends, family, Legal Team lead by Phil Stackhouse & Colby Vokey + David “Bull” Gurfein, the CEO of @uapatriots for attending & @navysealsfund for their continued support of our family during this crisis ♥️🇺🇸🙏🏻
Andrea Gallagher wrote that “four Navy SEALs who have known Eddie from between eight and fifteen years” testified Friday “to his outstanding military character, leadership and reputation in the SEAL community.”
“After taking the evidence, the judge indicated he would issue a ruling on this motion [to release Eddie from confinement] early next week. We are cautiously optimistic he will be released,” she added.
Gallagher was not released Friday and remains in confinement. His court-martial date has been set for Feb. 19.
“Additionally, we will be requesting that he be released from pre-trial confinement,” Stackhouse had told Fox prior to the arraignment.
Stackhouse had also submitted a request to set the court-martial date for Feb. 19, 2019, according to Fox 5 San Diego.
Gallagher has been held since Sept. 11, 2018.
A fellow Navy SEAL who is good friends with Chief Edward Gallagher says he is an American hero and should be treated that way. They do not believe he should be stuck in the Brig while he waits for his trial. Gallagher is facing a long list of war crimes charges. @CBS8 @News8 pic.twitter.com/IZ5KvDnfCn
— Neda Iranpour (@NedaNews8) January 4, 2019
Gallagher faces a premeditated murder charge for the alleged killing of a 15-year-old ISIS prisoner in May 2017. He also faces at least a dozen other charges unrelated to the ISIS fighter incident, all of which were reported by other SEALs in his unit.
If convicted, Gallagher could receive a life sentence in prison.
Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter became involved in the case and issued a statement on Friday:
I have personally reviewed Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Gallagher’s case thoroughly and my staff has met with his family and remained in consistent communication. Chief Gallagher stands accused of murder in the killing of a verified ISIS combatant in a warzone based on inconsistent testimony and without any physical evidence. It is important to remember that this ISIS combatant was engaged in an extensive firefight with Chief Gallagher’s team and was already significantly injured when captured. No credible evidence has been provided that this ISIS fighter was murdered as opposed to dying from his terrorist actions.”
I have also received reports that Chief Gallagher is being confined to the brig where, allegedly, he has not been provided with quality access to medical care, mental health services or legal representation. I am reviewing this situation further. If true, it is completely unacceptable and, without hesitation, I will introduce legislation to ensure this situation is not repeated. South American criminal illegal aliens are provided with better access to legal representation than our nation’s elite warriors because bureaucratic lawyers in the Navy justice system see this situation as an opportunity to make their name and advance their career.
Chief Gallagher honorably served our nation on multiple combat deployments both as a Corpsman with the Marine Corps and as a SEAL. Those who have served with him in combat describe him as nothing less than an American hero. I am significantly concerned that this is another example of the over-aggressiveness of the Navy JAG Corp showing its bias against our warfighters. Due to verifiable political nature of the Navy’s justice system, I believe that Chief Gallagher’s matter needs to be taken away from the Navy and President Trump himself needs to personally review and dismiss this case, taking an American hero out of a prison cell and back on the front lines where he belongs.
Gallagher was taken into custody on Sept. 11, 2018, from the Camp Pendleton Intrepid Spirit Center where he was receiving treatment for head injuries incurred from his overseas combat duty.
Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher is charged with killing a wounded teenage ISIS fighter in 2017 — accused by the U.S. military of being a war criminal; his wife has claimed her husband was only trying to save the injured fighter’s life https://t.co/04gxsKlCyz pic.twitter.com/ovjrVjZFrn
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) January 5, 2019
He remained in detention for nearly four months without a trial date, despite the Navy claiming to have sufficient photographic evidence and witness testimony – neither of which they say can be released due to security concerns.
“Today’s arraignment is the first time in four months since he was arrested on 9/11 that he will have the ability to refute the false claims made about him in front of a judge,” Sean Gallagher, Eddie’s brother, told Fox News on Friday.
“He’s missed Christmas. He’s missed Thanksgiving. He has a wife and three children that he loves deeply and that miss him sorely,” Sean Gallagher added. “We’re asking for the Navy to see the error of their ways and right the wrong that has been perpetrated against a decorated war hero.”
A YouTube video, in addition to exclusive documents obtained by Task & Purpose, show that the ISIS fighter was critically wounded by gunfire with Iraqi forces and succumbed his injuries, which included a severed artery.
The video, uploaded May 15, 2017, shows Iraqi journalist Ali Jawad interviewing the barely conscious ISIS fighter before he was taken into custody and given medical treatment by the Navy SEALs in Gallagher’s unit.
The documents, which detail the interview with Iraqi ERD leaders and a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigator, also indicate that the fighter succumbed to his battle wounds.
Stackhouse told Task & Purpose in October, “What we’ve learned in our independent investigation into these allegations is that a crime simply didn’t happen.”
Stackhouse and Gallagher attest that the allegations have been falsely brought forth by disgruntled fellow Navy SEALs in Gallagher’s unit who retaliated against him for his demanding leadership style.
Gallagher, 39, is a 19-year Navy veteran and two-time recipient of the Bronze Star.
The Navy SEALs Fund has raised more than $200,000 to aid in Gallagher’s legal defense.