CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) - On Wednesday, Rear Adm. Collin Green sent notice to Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher that his status as a SEAL is under review, according to his lawyer.
The process, commonly called a Trident Review, could strip Gallagher of his trident pin and remove him from the SEAL teams, though his rank and paygrade in the Navy would not be changed.
“It’s ordinarily a procedure used for a substandard performer or somebody who’s committing safety violations,” said Timothy Parlatore, a civilian attorney for Gallagher.
Parlatore said Gallagher is planning on retiring as soon as possible, so the move to strip his trident pin would not have any dramatic effect on his current role.
“It has no legitimate value for someone about to retire,” said Parlatore. “It is purely a retaliation. They want to get their pound of flesh because they weren’t able to get it in the trial."
In July, a jury acquitted Gallagher of war crime charges, including the allegation that he murdered a teenage ISIS captive and fired into a crowd of Iraqi civilians.
But the jury did find him guilty of posing for a photo with the ISIS captive’s dead body. He was sentenced to four months behind bars and a demotion to E-6 — or Petty Officer First Class.
Last week, President Donald Trump stepped in, restoring Gallagher’s rank and pay grade back to Chief Petty Officer.
The White House released a statement that read, in part, “As the President has stated, 'when our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight.‘"
Parlatore said the decision to initiate a Trident Review for his client is mostly symbolic but plans to fight it.
“Chief Gallagher has no intention of quietly retiring,” he said.
Parlatore also directly targeted Rear Adm. Green, who oversees the Navy SEALS.
“If I were in charge, I would arrest Admiral Green and have him charged with witness retaliation,” Parlatore told 10News.
A spokesperson for the Navy SEALS did not respond to requests for comment by 10News. Cmdr. Sarah Higgins, a spokesperson for Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, did not comment directly on the review, but wrote in a statement, “Secretary Spencer supports his commanders in executing their roles, to include Rear Adm. Green.”
The review hearing is scheduled for Dec. 2 and 4 in Coronado.