The attorney for Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday that the Navy is trying to humiliate his client by potentially taking away his SEAL Trident, as President Trump reaffirmed his support for the embattled soldier.
“This is an action that they could have taken at any time from July right after the verdict, until today,” his lawyer Tim Parlatore said. “President Trump takes action on a Friday afternoon — Monday morning, the admiral [Adm. Collin Green] comes in and brings everybody together and says ‘I disagree with the president, we’re going to take his Trident.'”
A San Diego jury formerly sentenced Gallagher to a reduced rank and four months of confinement, which he has already served, for posing with the body of the dead ISIS fighter, which was considered the least egregious of the seven charges he was facing.
The White House announced that Trump signed an order last Friday reversing the sentence and “directing the promotion of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward R. Gallagher to the grade of E-7, the rank he held before he was tried and found not guilty of nearly all of the charges against him.”
Parlatore said the actions being taken by the Navy are geared toward humiliating Gallagher and serve no practical purpose.
“This is a procedure that’s in place for people that are going to be continuing on in the Navy — to actually remove them from the SEAL teams and say OK, you’ve committed major safety violations,” he said. “You can’t be a SEAL anymore. We’re going to send you out to a ship… The instruction even says this is not the proper procedure for somebody that’s getting out of the Navy entirely or should be pushed out of the Navy entirely,” the lawyer added.
“So what he’s doing here is really just an effort to try and publicly humiliate Chief Gallagher and stick it right in the president’s eye.”
Shortly after Parlatore’s comments, Trump reaffirmed his support for Gallagher on Twitter and declared that he will not lose his Trident.
“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!” he wrote.
Parlatore called out Admiral Collin Green and said he is exhibiting cowardice and hubris.
“If Admiral Green really wants to do this, he shouldn’t try and put people in the middle to put the blame on them,” he said. “He shouldn’t be a coward like that. He should stand up and do it himself.”
“There’s been some who say that he shouldn’t have his rank restored but all of them cite reasons that show that they haven’t paid any attention to the case whatsoever,” Parlatore added. “His rank was taken away for something that… — nobody else in the history of the SEAL teams or the military has ever had general court martial conviction for a photo like this.”
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran, Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report