Buttigieg Claims Trump Has “Dishonored our Armed Services” With Pardons

President Trump has signed full pardons for Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance and Army Major Mathew Golsteyn, and directed the promotion of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward R. Gallagher.

KTLA reports President Donald Trump has pardoned a former U.S. Army commando set to stand trial next year in the killing of a suspected Afghan bomb-maker and a former Army lieutenant convicted of murder for ordering his men to fire upon three Afghans, killing two, the White House announced late Friday.

The commander in chief also ordered a promotion for a decorated Navy SEAL convicted of posing with a dead Islamic State captive in Iraq.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a written statement that the president is responsible for ensuring the law is enforced and that “mercy is granted,” when appropriate.

“For more than 200 years, presidents have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country,” she said. “These actions are in keeping with this long history.”

2020 Candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg was among the critics of the move, tweeting:

There’s nothing pro-military about overruling our military justice system to prevent it from delivering accountability for war crimes. The president has again dishonored our armed services.

The American Civil Liberties Union also did not support the move:

ACLU on Trump’s pardons in war crimes cases: “With this utterly shameful use of presidential powers, Trump has sent a clear message of disrespect for law, morality, the military justice system, and those in the military who abide by the laws of war.”

Per FoxNews, former Green Beret officer Maj. Mat Golsteyn said the president showed “an incredible display of courage” Saturday after President Trump intervened in several military war crimes cases — including granting clemency for his own case.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends: Weekend” Saturday with host Pete Hegseth, Golsteyn said that he woke up “incredibly stunned and awed by the president’s generosity.”

Golsteyn was charged with premeditated murder in the 2010 death of a suspected Taliban bomb maker. His trial was expected to begin next month.

In an Op-Ed, Don Brown wrote:

As a member of Lorance’s legal defense team and the author of a book about the injustice suffered by this brave American who risked his life defending our country in Afghanistan, I want to thank President Trump on behalf of Lorance, his family and his many supporters.

I felt a huge sense of relief and gratitude when the White House called me Friday asking how to set up the prison call with Lorance. His aunt was able to speak with Lorance afterward and fill me in on the conversation.

We on the Lorance legal team stated in his defense that he did nothing wrong, despite his unjust conviction. He ordered his men to shoot three Taliban insurgents who were charging at his platoon on a motorcycle in Afghanistan on July 2, 2012.

The Taliban did not heed orders to stop. Lorance could have let them men pass and possibly kill some of his own American soldiers by blowing themselves up with a suicide bomb (as has happened in other cases) or by gunfire. He chose to stop them and save American lives.

Sending a soldier to prison for defending his troops in a war zone should have never happened and should never happen again.

The president told our friend Pete Hegseth of Fox News that freedom was coming for Lorance, and Hegseth reported this exclusively Nov. 4.

In addition to granting a pardon to Lorance, the president ordered a murder charge dropped against Army Maj. Matt Golsteyn, a former Green Beret. President Trump also restored Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher to the rank of chief petty officer after he was docked a pay grade following his conviction for posing for a photo with a dead ISIS fighter, the White House announced.

A White House said that as commander in chief the president is “ultimately responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced and when appropriate, that mercy is granted.”

We had hoped President Trump would grant freedom to Lorance on Monday to mark Veterans Day. I and others were at Leavenworth anticipating the good news. Of course, the president is a busy man, so we are enormously grateful that there was not a long delay.

This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com 

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