Rep. Dan Crenshaw breaks with Trump on pardoning accused war criminal before trial
Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that President Donald Trump is considering granting presidential pardons to some veterans of the U.S. military who have been accused or convicted of war crimes — including Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL platoon leader accused of shooting unarmed civilians and fatally stabbing an enemy captive while on duty in Iraq in 2017. But Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas is asserting that Gallagher should stand trial before Trump considers a presidential pardon for him.
In a written statement, the 35-year-old Crenshaw told the conservative National Review, “These cases should be decided by the courts, where the entirety of the evidence can be viewed. Only after that should a pardon be considered.”
Crenshaw himself is a former Navy SEAL, serving in the U.S. military from 2006-2016. In fact, the Texas congressman wears an eye patch because he lost an eye while on duty in war-torn Afghanistan.
Gallagher is set to go to trial on May 28, and Rep. Duncan Hunter of California is among the Republicans who are urging Trump to grant him a presidential pardon. The person Gallagher is facing trial for fatally stabbing in 2017 was a captured member of the terrorist organization ISIS (Islamic State, Iraq and Syria) who was receiving medical treatment in Iraq that year. Allegedly, Gallagher stabbed him multiple times not in self-defense, but as an act of premeditated murder — and his critics have argued that as vicious as ISIS is, it wasn’t Gallagher’s place to act as judge, jury and executioner.