UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The US Navy will continue its efforts to drive out a special forces soldier, Navy Seals, an official said on Saturday, defying President Donald Trump’s will.
Edward Gallagher was charged with the stabbing of a wounded Islamic State prisoner and of attempting to kill other civilians in Iraq in 2017 and obstructing justice.
Gallagher was acquitted of most of the charges in July but was convicted for taking a picture with other soldiers in front of the young man’s body and demoted.
But Trump decided on November 15 to overturn the decision to downgrade the 40-year-old soldier.
This week, the Navy launched a measure that could result in stripping him and three others in his unit of their rank, which effectively means expelling them from the naval unit, Navy Seals.
Trump wrote angrily on Twitter on Thursday that “the Navy will not strip the fighter and Marine Edward Gallagher of his rank.”
But a senior Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to speak freely, said on Saturday that a special board to review the files of the elements “is proceeding in its procedures.”
The council will decide in December whether Gallagher will remain in his unit.
The latest move comes as US media reported that Navy Secretary Richard Spencer threatened to resign over the case.
But Spencer denied this while attending a forum in Canada. “Contrary to popular belief, I am still here. I have not threatened to resign,” he said.
But he said he did not consider Trump’s official tweet.
“I need a formal order to act,” Spencer told reporters on the sidelines of the forum.
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