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Trump congratulates Navy SEAL acquitted of killing wounded Iraqi captive

Navy Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, right, walks with his wife, Andrea Gallagher as they leave a military court on Naval Base San Diego, Tuesday, July 2, 2019, in San Diego. A military jury acquitted the decorated Navy SEAL Tuesday of murder in the killing of a wounded Islamic State captive under his care in Iraq in 2017.

GREGORY BULL/AP

By JOHN WAGNER | The Washington Post | Published: July 3, 2019

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered his congratulations to Edward Gallagher, a decorated Navy SEAL platoon leader who was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of a wounded Islamic State captive in Iraq in 2017.

A military jury in San Diego also acquitted Gallagher on Tuesday in the shootings of two civilians but convicted him for posing for photos with the body of the dead captive.

Some congressional Republicans and conservative commentators had rallied to Gallagher's defense amid speculation that Trump might pardon him if convicted.

"Congratulations to Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, his wonderful wife Andrea, and his entire family," Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. "You have been through much together. Glad I could help!"

In March, Trump intervened to move Gallagher from a Navy brig to less restrictive confinement in a Navy hospital before his trial, writing on Twitter that he had done so in "honor of his past service to our Country."

During an interview Wednesday on Fox News's "Fox & Friends," Gallagher thanked the network for "being with us since Day One" and Trump "for intervening when he did."

Gallagher's defense lawyers argued that he was framed by platoon members who were disgruntled because of a demanding leader.
 

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