Accused Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher has been moved from the brig to less-restrictive barracks at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego at the request of President Donald Trump.
Gallagher was moved late Saturday night, just hours after Trump tweeted that the 15-year SEAL would be moved from 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 tweeted Saturday.
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! @foxandfriends @RepRalphNorman
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2019
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.
“Our family is incredibly grateful for President Trump’s intervention,” Gallagher’s wife, Andrea, and his brother, Sean, told American Military News on Monday.
“There is a reason the military community loves this President – when he says he supports the troops, he means it,” the family said in a statement. “Ensuring Eddie gets proper medical care, family visits and legal counsel amidst absurd charges is President Trump exercising true leadership in correcting a tragic 7-month long hardship behind bars, where Eddie never should have been in the first place.”
“Eddie will come out victorious after trial – and the President will have saved an innocent man, a decorated war hero of the highest caliber, two months in jail so he can properly face his accusers and prepare for the fight of his life,” they added.
It was reported Friday that Trump had made the decision to tell the Navy to move Gallagher to less restrictive confinement, this after dozens of Congress members have been urging the Navy to take a look at the situation. It is unconfirmed what type of confinement Gallagher will be placed in as he awaits his trial in May.
President Trump stepped in after more than 50 members of Congress have called for urgent attention to the case, and two letters sent by two groups of Congressmen have been sent to the U.S. Navy demanding action.
Rep. Ralph Norman first tweeted on Friday that Gallagher would be moved, this after he spoke with President Trump.
“This morning, I spoke with President @realDonaldTrump by phone about Navy SEAL #EddieGallagher. And I want to thank the President for deciding to move Chief Ghallager to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court,” Norman said.
Norman and Rep. Duncan Hunter, as well as the Gallagher family and others, gathered in Washington, D.C. earlier this week to announce that they and 38 other members of Congress had sent a letter to the U.S. Navy asking for Gallagher to be released from such restrictive pre-trial confinement.
In the letter, which has been reviewed by American Military News, the Congress members ask Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey, who is Commander of Navy Region Southwest, to review Gallagher’s pre-trial confinement conditions.
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw and 17 other Republican lawmakers also recently sent a letter to the U.S. Navy Secretary asking for a review of Gallagher’s pre-trial confinement conditions.
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.