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Navy to decide Dec. 2 if Eddie Gallagher can remain a SEAL in affront to Trump’s intent

SEAL Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher during a pinning ceremony. (Courtesy of Andrea Gallagher)
November 20, 2019

Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher could be kicked out of the SEALS even after President Trump intervened to restore his rank and expunge his record.

Gallagher appeared before Navy leadership on Wednesday where SEAL commander Rear Adm. Collin Green ordered a Trident Review Board to begin Dec. 2 to determine Gallagher’s fate in the SEALS.

The Gallagher family described the action as “one final act of retaliation against Eddie and our family.”

Two anonymous officials told The New York Times on Tuesday that notification letters were drafted and awaiting delivery to Gallagher, as well as three SEAL officers over him — Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch, Lt. Jacob Portier and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.

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Adm. Green reportedly planned to strip Gallagher of his SEAL Trident pin earlier this month, but did not receive the required clearance from the White House.

Now, however, Green has authorization from the Navy and plans to carry out the review despite the orders of the president.

President Trump had reinstated Gallagher’s rank late Friday and vowed to expunge his record so he could retire honorably.

“Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified,” the White House statement said on Friday.

Gallagher was convicted of posing for a photo by the corpse of an ISIS fighter along with at least 10 members of Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7, though he was the only one charged for the act.

He was sentenced to reduced rank from an E7 to an E6, forfeiture of partial pay for four months, and four months confinement, which he already served during nearly a year of pre-trial confinement that President Trump intercepted.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday decided to uphold the sentence, denying Gallagher’s request to retire as an E7, but preventing him from retiring as an E1, a typically automatic consequence in accordance with Navy regulations.

Gallagher believes the military justice system is “broken” and in need of reform.

“It definitely is broken. It’s a system that needs to be fixed,” Gallagher told Pete Hegseth on Fox & Friends Weekend on Sunday.

Gallagher’s attorney Timothy Parlatore filed a 16-page Inspector General complaint on Tuesday, alleging seven separate instances of misconduct against Gallagher committed by investigators, prosecutors, and the command. Those charges of misconduct include suppressing evidence, using spyware to track defense emails, acts of reprisal and retaliation, and more.

Gallagher was acquitted on July 2 of murder, a charge waged against him for the May 2017 death of an ISIS fighter in Mosul, Iraq. The acquittal came after Petty Officer Corey Scott had revealed under oath – and under the protection of immunity that was granted by the government – that he covered the ISIS fighter’s breathing tube to suffocate him.