U.S. Navy secretary backs SEAL’s expulsion review, despite Trump objection

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Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher might have thought he was off the hook for a high profile war crimes case against him when Trump intervened in his favor last week.

Alas, the Navy is not acquiescing quietly.

In July, a military jury convicted Gallagher of illegally posing for pictures with the corpse of an Islamic State fighter, for which he was demoted in rank and pay grade. Trump intervened last week, ordering the Navy to restore his rank and pay and clear the way for his full pension retirement. Navy brass notified Gallagher on Tuesday that a panel would convene on December 2 to review his case and determine whether or not he will remain a SEAL.

A decision as to whether Gallagher is ejected from the SEALs, stripping him of his special warfare Trident Pin, ultimately rests with the Navy’s personnel command in Washington. Gallagher would retain his rank but be assigned to other duty, though his lawyer has said he will be eligible to retire soon.

Of course, on Thursday, Trump lashed out at the proceedings, declaring on Twitter: “The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”

The Navy responded with a statement saying it would follow “lawful orders” from the president to halt the review but was awaiting further guidance, suggesting his Twitter post was not considered a formal directive.

More details at Reuters.