President Donald Trump vowed over the weekend to review the case of Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn who is currently facing a premeditated murder charge for the killing of a Taliban bombmaker in 2010.
“The case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker. We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!”
The case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House. Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker. We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill! @PeteHegseth
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2019
Golsteyn is set to face a court-martial beginning Dec. 2 at Fort Bragg.
His civilian lawyer, Phillip Stackhouse, is hopeful that Trump will intervene.
“We are hopeful the president will exercise his executive power as commander-in-chief and take jurisdiction of this case and then dismiss the case with prejudice,” Mr. Stackhouse told The Washington Times. “This is the only way to allow Matt to get his life back.”
“We appreciate the intensifying scrutiny of the prosecution of Maj. Golsteyn. Matt was cleared in this incident years ago, yet this secretive, runaway prosecution by the Army violates his Constitutional rights and leaves the Golsteyn family in a state of constant uncertainty and fear,” Stackhouse added.
Golsteyn pleaded not guilty in July to the Army’s allegations that he murdered the Taliban bomb maker on Feb. 22, 2010 — a charge he was cleared of in the past after the Army lacked enough evidence for charges.
Golsteyn’s mother, Nancy Golsteyn, told Fox & Friends that she believes the Army is willing to “go to any length to convict Matt.”
She also attributed delays in Golsteyn’s case to military lawyers who she referred to as Obama administration “holdovers.”
“This is Barack Obama’s U.S. Army,” Rep. Duncan Hunter said on Fox & Friends. “This should not be happening. This is going to take President Trump doing something about this and just calling this off. It’s going to take the intervention of the new commander-in-chief.”
Golsteyn has twice admitted to killing the Taliban bomb maker, whom he identified as the terrorist responsible for the deaths of two U.S. Marines he was commanding in Afghanistan, and that the act was justified during wartime.
Maj. Brent Goodwin, one of the prosecutors, said last week that the victim was a poor Afghan farmer named Rasoul with no affiliation with the Taliban.
“Rasoul was not a bombmaker,” Goodwin said during a hearing last week.
However, defense attorney, Capt. Nina Hillner, said Rasoul’s own brother said Rasoul was a Taliban member.
Army Judge Col. Tyesha Smith, who is presiding over Golsteyn’s trial, has permitted attorneys on the prosecution and defense teams to travel to Afghanistan and interview family members of the victim over a 30-day period.