Evie Fordham on May 19, 2019
President Donald Trump may be preparing to pardon a handful of military members accused or convicted of war crimes, according to a Saturday report from The New York Times citing two unnamed officials.
The paperwork required for such pardons were requested on an expedited timeline, meaning they could coincide with Memorial Day weekend, the officials said according to The NYT.
The report comes after Trump tweeted March 30 about the situation of a Navy SEAL awaiting trial for war crimes. Highly-decorated Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher is facing trial at the end of May for alleged war crimes including shooting unarmed civilians and killing an enemy captive.
“In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump also said in December that he would be “reviewing the case” of a former U.S. Army Green Beret charged with the premeditated murder of an Afghan while serving in 2010. Former U.S. Army Major Matt Golsteyn is charged with murdering a suspected Taliban bomb maker during a deployment in 2010.
Trump may also pardon former Blackwater security contractor Nicholas Slatten, according to The NYT. Slatten was convicted in December of murder at his third trial in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq, reported the Associated Press.
Trump pardoned another member of the military earlier in May. The president issued a full pardon May 6 to former Army First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who served five years in prison after being convicted of murdering a suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist.