(KGTV) — President Trump is stepping in on behalf of a Navy SEAL charged with murder, now being held in a MCAS Miramar brig.
Special Operations Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher is accused of fatally stabbing a wounded Islamic State fighter in Mosul, Iraq, in May 2017, posing for a photo next to the body, and completing his enlistment ceremony next to the corpse.
Prosecutors also accuse Gallagher of shooting two non-combatants in Iraq and firing at crowds. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
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He was arrested on Sept. 11, 2018, and has since been held at the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Saturday, President Trump promised Gallagher would be moved to "less restrictive confinement."
"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!" the President tweeted Saturday.
In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal #EddieGallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly! @foxandfriends @RepRalphNorman— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2019
MCAS Miramar told 10News is aware of the President's statement. Navy Special Warfare's public affairs office referred requests for a statement to the White House.
According to the Associated Press, in a letter to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer House Republicans said Gallagher as reportedly not receiving sufficient access to his defense attorneys, enough food, or adequate medical care.
"Chief Gallagher is a decorated war fighter who, like all service members, is entitled to the presumption of innocence while awaiting court-martial," the letter said, calling on Spencer to review Gallagher's confinement, according to the AP.
Gallagher’s platoon leader, Lt. Jacob Portier, was also arrested weeks later,. He has been accused of trying to cover up Gallagher's alleged crimes.
“It’s very complex because the alleged crime scene itself is on a battlefield in Mosul, Iraq. Many of the witnesses are still in Iraq,” Jeremiah Sullivan, Portier’s attorney, told 10News in January. “All of these war fighters truly should’ve been awarded medals and not charge sheets; they’ve proudly served our country many times."
Gallagher could face a life term in prison if convicted.
His trial was reset for May 28, the AP reported, after defense lawyers asked for more time to go over the prosecution's evidence.
Rep. Duncan Hunter met with Gallagher Sunday. "We are going to keep working this, America’s warfighters deserve no less," Hunter said in a tweet.
Met with Chief Gallagher this morning, his holding environment is improved, but there is a lot more challenges ahead. We are going to keep working this, America’s warfighters deserve no less. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/DZLIbRT2H4
— Rep. Duncan Hunter (@Rep_Hunter) March 31, 2019