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Navy SEAL family says Navy subverting Trump’s order on Eddie Gallagher

SEAL Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher during a pinning ceremony. (Courtesy of Andrea Gallagher)
April 09, 2019

An accused Navy SEAL is seemingly being held “captive” by the Navy ahead of his trial in May, despite an order from President Donald Trump last month that SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher be moved from the brig to less-restrictive barracks at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

And now, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Group 1 Commodore Capt. Matthew Rosenbloom, Gallagher’s commander and the man behind enforcing his pre-trial restrictions, has spoken out and defended the restrictions placed on Gallagher, which increasingly go against the spirit of what Trump has ordered, according to Gallagher’s family. Rosenbloom claims in a letter sent this week to Gallagher’s defense team, and reviewed by American Military News, that the order from President Trump “is a restriction order, not an entitlement order.”

“I have a reasonable belief: offenses triable by Court-Martial have been committed; SOC [Special Operations Chief] Gallagher committed the offenses; and the restraint ordered is required by the circumstances,” Rosenbloom writes in his letter. “In line with determinations previously made by both the Initial Reviewing Officer and the Military Judge, I find the stipulations of restriction are required to prevent attempts by SOC Gallagher to intimidate witnesses and obstruct justice.”

Naval Special Warfare Group 1 commodore Capt. Matthew D. Rosenbloom. (U.S. Army Central/Facebook)

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Gallagher has been out of the brig for more than a week, but he has been faced with more restrictions than he had while in pre-trial confinement, including more restrictions on phone calls and visitors, and no use of a computer to review his legal defense or other documents, according to his family. Gallagher had been kept in pre-trial confinement with sex offenders at the brig, jailed since Sept. 11, 2018, and given inadequate access to legal counsel and medical care, his family says.

“The rules they have put on him are actually disabling him from getting food or legal access or access to his family,” Eddie’s wife, Andrea Gallagher, told American Military News. “Why in the world is this commander of an entire west coast of Navy SEALs trying to micromanage a President’s order about this SEAL?”

His family says the new restrictions are almost worse than his conditions in the brig – and that Gallagher shouldn’t have been confined or be restricted in the first place. The Navy, however, argues that its treatment of Gallagher has been consistent since he was put in the brig in September, and that the restrictions are in place for a reason.

💥UPDATE💥 Despite a direct order from the POTUS my Husband has now been placed on Arrest or Restriction tantamount to Confinement – confining him to room / building with his boarders ending at the sidewalk, they have ripped out all phones in his room, denied him a cell phone to call our children, denied him a laptop to review case discovery and prepare for his trial, have him restricted in ways that actually are WORSE than in the brig like no visitors or iPod and they don’t have sorted out how he can be fed dinner 🍽 once I leave. 😤 • • He can’t walk and get food, or go to medical apts, or even get a haircut without Comm. Rosenbloom Threatening to throw him back in the brig. 🤬🤯 • • In fact in the first 96 HOURS After the President ordered him to be released Rosenbloom threatened my husband FOUR times while my youngest son and I have been here to throw him back in the brig. • • >> The President said that Eddie should no longer be withheld from his family yet Rosenbloom instituted a 9 AM to 9 PM visitation for my son 👦🏼😭 and I so we haven’t stayed the night at all while here and every night I have to drag my son away from his father due to this overreach 😱 • • This is ILLEGAL or as the military likes to call it *unlawful* Command Influence / I guess that sounds better than what it really is – OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE 😮🇺🇸 • • Yesterday our Defense team Sent letter to Comm Rosenbloom saying what he is doing is wrong, illegal, unlawful and a direct usurping of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 🇺🇸 @realdonaldtrump • • In addition for those of you that have been following our case for some time you may remember the name, Rosenbloom😡 That is due to the fact that after we asked him to have the case remain under Naval special warfare so that Eddie could receive a fair trial and be judged by a jury of his peers Rosenbloom immediately transferred the case to Navy Regions Southwest 😟 • • So he is – by his own doing no longer the CONVENING AUTHORITY ~ Yet his UNLAWFUL COMMAND INFLUENCE KNOWS NO BOUNDS……!!!!! • • Please help us fight this- visit JUSTICEFOREDDIE.COM {Link in Bio} and help us #FREEEDDIE 🇺🇸💯

A post shared by Andrea / Eddie’s Wife (@better_business_babe) on

One of Gallagher’s civilian attorneys, Tim Parlatore – a former Naval officer who graduated from the Naval Academy in 2002 – argues that this isn’t rational or related to a permissible reason.

“The motion about the Navy’s reasons, of Eddie influencing [witnesses] – those reasons are false,” Parlatore told American Military News on Monday night. “There is no legitimate expectation that he’s going to try and influence the proceedings by contacting any witnesses. Several witnesses have contacted the prosecutor to say they’re not intimidated, they never were, and they don’t even care about having a protective order in place.”

“What the Navy is providing there is an excuse as to why they’re trying to justify their illegal actions. It’s not based in fact,” he pointed out.

Gallagher is now restricted to a certain building and is not allowed to walk past the sidewalk without an escort. He also does not have access to a cell phone or landline in his room, and he can’t have any devices that have internet or Bluetooth capabilities.

While he can call his immediate family and legal team, those calls take place on the quarterdeck, which not a private area.

Andrea said this can be likened to taking a very private, sensitive call in the middle of a busy hotel lobby.

She also called out Rosenbloom’s letter, saying his repeated actions of trying to isolate and threaten Eddie are “unlawful command influence at its worst.” She also says that while Rosenbloom’s letter is not untrue, it certainly does not paint a full picture or give enough context as to what is happening to Eddie.

“It’s obstruction of justice and impeding his right to a fair trial. They’re absolutely obstructing him from his ability to review the case. This is not 100-percent access to his legal team. In all shapes and forms, he had access to a legal line at the brig,” she pointed out.

Parlatore says there’s no dining facility in the building, so in order to have meals, Eddie must be escorted to the on-base dining facility. And on the weekends, there are only two meals a day. Andrea pointed out that the one restaurant that was in the building closed in March “indefinitely,” and that the grab-and-go section with vending machines contains only junk and processed food.

While he is technically free to walk around – within the boundaries laid out – Eddie no longer has visiting hours for people to come and see him, and the process is now nearly impossible to figure out, Andrea stressed.

Gallagher was moved March 30, just hours after Trump tweeted that the 15-year SEAL would be moved from confinement in the brig to “less restrictive confinement” ahead of his trial in May. Gallagher had been held in the brig for more than seven months.

“In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal #EddieGallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly,” Trump had tweeted.

“President Trump exercised true leadership in granting Eddie less restrictive treatment ahead of his trial. However, despite a direct order from the Commander in Chief, the same people who wrongfully locked Eddie away in the first place – namely [SEAL Group 1 Commodore Capt. Matthew Rosenbloom] – are trying to undermine the President to make Eddie’s new restriction as close to when he was inside the brig,” Andrea and Eddie’s brother, Sean, told American Military News on Monday.

“Eddie has been threatened four times to be thrown back in the brig for things as simple as getting a haircut,” they said.

What Rosenbloom is doing is is illegal and is obstructing justice, Andrea says.

“The President ordered [Eddie] be granted access to his lawyers and family, and right now, due to insidious actions by his command, these basic Constitutional rights are still being denied,” Andrea and Sean said. “This is clear proof of a cancer in our military leadership that will stop at nothing to tilt the scales of justice in their favor and deny Eddie a fair fight.”