President Trump granted clemency Friday to three U.S. troops accused of war crimes.
- Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, convicted six years ago of second degree murder in the death of three Afghans, was given a full pardon. He was serving a 19-year sentence in a military prison.
- Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who faced murder charges next year for an alleged similar crime, was also given a full pardon.
- Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher, who earlier this fall was acquitted of several alleged war crimes, had his rank restored to Chief Petty Officer after being demoted for posing with an enemy’s corpse.
Statement from the White House:
Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) for Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance, an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) for Army Major Mathew Golsteyn, and an order directing the promotion of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward R. Gallagher to the grade of E-7, the rank he held before he was tried and found not guilty of nearly all of the charges against him.
President Trump said his decision to grant clemency in these cases will give troops “the confidence to fight” without worrying about potential legal overreactions.
He also said, “Our great warfighters must be allowed to fight. I would not have done this for Sgt. Bergdahl or Chelsea Manning!”
Trump had argued last month that it is not right for America to “train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!”