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Navy SEAL Rep. Crenshaw, 17 others send letter asking Navy asking to review SEAL’s pre-trial confinement

Navy SEAL Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher. (Justice for Eddie/Released)
March 22, 2019

Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw and 17 other Republican lawmakers have sent a letter to the U.S. Navy Secretary asking for a review of Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher’s pre-trial confinement conditions.

Gallagher has been jailed for more than seven months, since Sept. 11, 2018, ahead of his trial in May. His family, and now Crenshaw and more than a dozen other lawmakers, say he is being mistreated while being kept at Brig Miramar in pre-trial confinement, including insufficient access to legal counsel and medical care.

“In accordance with Rule for Court-martial 304(f), you, [Richard Spencer,] as Secretary of the Navy, are responsible for establishing regulations governing the facilities and treatment of service members in pre-trial confinement,” the lawmakers wrote. “We therefore request that you review the underlying reasons for co-locating pre-trial and post-trial confinees at Consolidated Brig Miramar [in San Diego] and whether the current arrangement fundamentally disadvantages Chief Gallagher and other pre-trial service members. Furthermore, we request that you consider whether other locations are more appropriate for pre-trial confinement.”

Crenshaw appeared on Fox & Friends this week to discuss Gallagher’s case, and the letter he and fellow lawmakers sent to the Navy.

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“People are innocent until proven guilty, and they should be treated as such,” Crenshaw said. “The way he was arrested was really problematic – it was while they knew he was receiving medical treatment. They also raided his home … They knew he wasn’t present, took his kids outside… [It was] really unnecessary.”

Gallagher is in solitary confinement “along with guilty criminals,” Crenshaw said on Fox, and he’s not getting proper access to food or the medical care he needs. He’s also not getting full access to his legal counsel.

“This just doesn’t seem like the proper way to treat somehow who served his country for so long,” Crenshaw said. “That’s just not the way to treat people.”

Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder of an already fatally wounded ISIS prisoner in Mosul, Iraq, during his last deployment in 2017, allegedly stabbing the prisoner with a hunting knife. He also faces other charges, including aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and obstruction of justice.

Other service members who face charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice are not being held in the brig, including two other Navy SEALs who are charged with strangling a Green Beret in Mali.

The Navy told Fox News this week that it had not yet reviewed the letter.

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The other Republican members of the House of Representatives who signed the letter are: Mac Thornberry of Texas, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Kelly Armstrong of Alabama, Jim Banks of Indiana, Paul Cook of California, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Jody Hice of Georgia, French Hill of Arizona, Brian Mast of Florida, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Pete Olson of Texas, Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania, Austin Scott of Georgia, Greg Steube of Florida, Van Taylor of Texas and Michael Waltz of Florida.

“It means a great deal to our family that a SEAL veteran in Congress – someone who has seen the likes of combat that Eddie has lived through for eight tours – recognizes the injustice taking place against an American hero,” Eddie’s wife Andrea Gallagher has told American Military News. “Rep. Dan Crenshaw has stepped up, along with Rep. Duncan Hunter and Rep. Ralph Norman, to lead a movement in Congress demanding action be taken on Eddie’s case.”