Navy retaliating against SEAL helped by Trump, attorney says

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 02: Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher walks out of military court during lunch recess on July 2, 2019 in San Diego, California. Jury deliberations begin today for Chief Gallagher, who is on trial for war crimes for shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq in 2017, including a school-age girl, and with killing a captured teenage ISIS fighter with a knife while deployed. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Navy SEAL whose rank was restored by President Donald Trump after being convicted of posing with a dead body was summoned to appear Wednesday before Navy leaders, and his attorney said they are trying to remove him from the elite force in retaliation for Trump’s actions.

Attorney Timothy Parlatore said the Navy is holding a review board proceeding to remove Special Warfare Operations Chief Edward Gallagher’s Trident pin, which designates him as a SEAL.

Navy officials declined to comment.

Parlatore filed an inspector general’s complaint Tuesday accusing Naval Special Warfare commander, Rear Adm. Collin Green, of insubordination for defying Trump. Parlatore said Green made his intentions clear at a staff meeting Monday.

“What I’m hearing is that the rear admiral said very disparaging comments about the president and stated his disagreement with the president’s actions and said therefore I want to move forward in removing his Trident,” Parlatore said.

Naval Special Warfare spokeswoman, Capt. Tamara Lawrence, said in a statement that Green “remains focused on delivering a capable, ready, and lethal maritime special operations force in support of national security objectives, which includes assessing the suitability of any member of his force via administrative processes.”

Trump on Friday ordered a promotion for Gallagher, the Navy SEAL convicted of posing with a dead Islamic State captive in Iraq in 2017. Gallagher was in line for a promotion before he was prosecuted, but he lost that and was reduced in rank after the conviction.

Last month Adm. Mike Gilday, the U.S. chief of naval operations, denied a request for clemency for Gallagher and upheld a military jury’s sentence that reduced his rank by one step.

Parlatore said then that ruling would cost Gallagher up to $200,000 in retirement funds because of his loss of rank from a chief petty officer to a 1st class petty officer.

Gallagher was accused of killing the wounded Islamic State captive in his care in Iraq in 2017 and shooting at civilians but ultimately was acquitted of those charges.

Grisham said the reinstatement of the promotion was “justified,” given Gallagher’s service. He is a two-time recipient of the Bronze Star.

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