Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) and 22 of her colleagues wrote to President Trump to protest his use of presidential pardon power to prevent three war criminals, including Edward Gallagher, from facing punishment under the military justice system. The members expressed concern that these ill-advised pardons, and the resulting fallout including Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s forced resignation, would hamper good order and discipline in the military, cost the U.S. credibility with partner nations, and undermine the law of war.
“The President should be issuing pardons in consultation with DOD senior brass, not Fox News, and he should not use those constitutional powers to protect war criminals,” said Rep. Speier, Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee. “These pardons threaten our troops’ morale, discipline, and safety, and weaken U.S. standing internationally. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it becomes impossible to encourage our partners around the globe to enforce the law of war through an impartial military justice system when the President makes ours look like a farce.”
The members also worry that the President’s continued intervention in these cases, such as by preventing the Navy from removing Gallagher’s SEAL trident, will undermine confidence in the military justice system by making it seem like a vehicle for personal political gain.
Click here for a copy of the letter.