President Trump announced Saturday that Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who has been charged with war crimes, will soon be moved to “less restrictive confinement” in the Miramar brig.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “Process should move quickly!”
According to the online publication The Hill, South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, who has advocated for Gallagher’s release from pretrial confinement, tweeted Friday he had thanked Trump for the decision to move Gallagher.
“This morning, I spoke with President @realDonaldTrump by phone about Navy SEAL #EddieGallagher,” he tweeted. “I want to thank the President for deciding to move Chief Ghallager to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court.”
Norman added in another tweet Gallagher should be treated as a “decorated soldier who still has the presumption of innocence” until his trial.
A group of 40 lawmakers earlier signed a letter to Rear Adm. Yancy B. Lindsey, head of Navy Region Southwest, urging him to re-evaluate Gallagher’s confinement.
“We ask that you weigh this decision given the terrible message Chief Gallagher’s confinement sends to our warfighters that they can be confined behind bars away from their family, legal defense and community for nine months before their day in court,” the letter said, according to The Hill.
“To confine any service member for that duration of time, regardless of authority to do so, sends a chilling message to those who fight for our freedoms,” it continued.
Gallagher, a decorated 19-year veteran, faces multiple charges of war crimes. He is accused of premeditated murder and shooting at unarmed Iraqi civilians, according to a charge sheet obtained by CNN.
He is also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly attempting to “discourage members of his platoon from reporting his actions while in Iraq,” CNN reported in November.