Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher has been found not guilty on all counts except for posing with a dead ISIS fighter in Iraq
Watch below: Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher and his lawyers speak to reporters after the jury finds him not guilty on all counts except taking a picture with a dead ISIS terrorist. If you are on a mobile device, click here to watch.
Immediately following this press conference, KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries spoke with Eddie’s brother, Sean Gallagher, to get his thoughts on the verdict.
Defense lawyers called the pictures of Gallagher, a Bronze Star recipient, clutching the corpse’s hair and his texts about his knife skills just the dark humor of a warrior.
An Iraqi general who handed the wounded prisoner to the SEALs testified that Gallagher did not stab the boy. And Marine Staff Sgt. Giorgio Kirylo said after the militant died that he moved the body to take a “cool guy trophy” photo with it and saw no stab wounds on his neck.
Gallagher’s attorneys said there were a number of things that could have caused the militant’s death, including internal injuries from the blast.
Most of the witnesses were granted immunity to protect them from being prosecuted for acts they described on the stand.
Lt. Jacob Portier, the officer in charge, has been charged separately for overseeing the reenlistment ceremony and not reporting the alleged stabbing.
The trial followed months of turmoil in one of the Navy’s most prominent war cases, including the removal of the Navy’s lead prosecutor after it was discovered the prosecution had tracked the emails of the defense team to find a news leak. The judge in response to that lowered the maximum sentence Gallagher could face for premeditated murder to life in prison with parole, instead of without parole.
Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, who has been helping the Gallagher family from the beginning, released the following statement on the not guilty verdict:
“The Gallagher case has been shameful from the start and, while much damage has been done, I am confident that Chief Gallagher, Andrea, their children and the entire family has the fortitude and determination to rebuild their lives and move on to the next chapter. That being said, the fact that this situation would happen to an American hero is nothing short of a disgrace for the entire military justice system.
On very circumstantial and limited physical evidence, the Navy felt it appropriate to charge Chief Gallagher with the murder of an ISIS terrorist, accomplishing nothing but destroying the military career of a decorated Navy SEAL and giving every warfighter cause for concern that the nation they serve does not have their back.
Let’s review how the Navy prosecution has conducted themselves in this situation. When Chief Gallagher was arrested, his children were pulled from their home in their underwear at gunpoint. Gallagher was placed in solitary confinement and then in a general population with pedophiles and other sexual offenders before being formally charged. He was provided very limited access to his attorney, family and medical treatment for seven months and it literally took an act of the President of the United States to place him in an appropriate confinement environment. The prosecution violated court orders by leaking misleading details to the media and misled the White House and Members of Congress regarding video evidence that actually exonerates Gallagher rather than implicating him. The Navy delayed in providing exculpatory evidence to Gallagher’s defense and then proceeded to embed malware into emails sent to Gallagher’s defense attorney and the media. Even after the shocking admission on the stand by a witness that it was he who killed the ISIS fighter and not Chief Gallagher, the Navy prosecution still moved forward with this unnecessary trial. The Navy’s actions in this case are shameful, detrimental to good order and adversely affects the morale of our warfighters.
This not guilty verdict was more than warranted. While this case is now closed, the Navy will still be held accountable for their actions in this matter and I fully intend to continue working to protect America’s warfighters against a military justice system that is more focused on career advancement and sensational headlines as opposed to implementing and exercising the rule of law.”
Eddie’s wife, Andrea Gallagher, posted the following Instagram following the announcement of the verdict.