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Fox News: Trump to take ‘imminent action’ in cases of Army officers Matt Golsteyn and Clint Lorance

Then-Army Capt. Matthew L. Golsteyn in Afghanistan in 2010. (Office of Rep. Duncan Hunter/Released)
November 04, 2019

Fox News host Pete Hegseth said President Trump is expected to make an announcement in the next week about pardoning Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and Army Green Beret Maj. Matt Golsteyn.

Hegseth announced on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning that he met with the president over the weekend, and Trump will be taking action in the two cases before Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, Fox News reported.

“It doesn’t have to be a pardon or a commutation,” Hegseth said. “It could be, but pardons and commutations imply guilt, that you’ve done something wrong and you need to be forgiven for that. The president, as the commander-in-chief, has a lot of latitude under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to dismiss a case or change a sentence. From what I understand, that is likely what will happen here shortly.”

Hegseth had tweeted over the weekend saying that “imminent action” would take place in the cases of Army Lieutenant Clint Lorance and Army Major Matt Golsteyn, and confirmed Monday that Gallagher was among those considerations as well.

Lorance and Golsteyn face murder charges in separate instances of killing Taliban militants.

Lorance was sentenced to 20 years in prison for giving an order to kill two suspected Taliban militants while in Afghanistan in July 2012. Lorance believed the two militants to be scouts that were previously identified by a military pilot.

Golsteyn has been charged with premeditated murder and faces a court-martial in December for his admitted killing of a Taliban militant while in Afghanistan in February 2010. Golsteyn believed the militant to be a bomb maker responsible for killing several men in his unit.

Trump had announced in a tweet last month that Golsteyn’s case was under review.

“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!”

Trump had said in May that he was considering pardons for “a lot of different people” some of whom were military service members accused or convicted of war crimes. Although he did not name any individuals he was considering pardons for, they were presumed to include Lorance and Golsteyn.

“We teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight, sometimes they get really treated very unfairly, so we’re going to take a look at it,” Trump said at the time.

Reports indicated that Trump was so close to issuing pardons that he had asked the Department of Justice to prepare the paperwork and was expected to issue pardons on Memorial Day.

Although the reports did not come to fruition, Trump did issue a pardon to Michael Behenna, a former Army first lieutenant who was convicted of killing Iraqi prisoner Ali Mansur Mohamed, a suspected al Qaeda operative, in 2009 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.