President Donald Trump said Sunday he would be reviewing the case of Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, the Army special forces officer charged with murder this week in the killing of a suspected Taliban bomb-maker in 2010.
“At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a 'U.S. Military hero,' Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas.”
At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a “U.S. Military hero,” Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder. He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas. @PeteHegseth @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
“Thank you, Commander in Chief @realDonaldTrump,” Phil Stackhouse, Golsteyn's attorney, wrote on Twitter in a response.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Golsteyn admitted to killing the unarmed Afghan man in a polygraph test for the CIA in 2011, sparking a probe into the incident that was ultimately closed due to lack of evidence. The case was reopened in 2016 after Golsteyn admitted to the killing in a Fox News interview.
Golsteyn maintains that he killed the suspected Taliban militant to protect a tribal leader he believed would be killed if the man were released.
“Major Matthew Golsteyn’s immediate commander has determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him,” Bymer told Task & Purpose on Thursday. “Maj. Golsteyn is being charged with the murder of an Afghan male during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.”
Trump's tweet, which tagged Fox News' Pete Hegseth, seemed to come just as a segment aired on the network that asked whether the Army was “betraying Maj. Matthew Golsteyn.”
“A decorated war hero who fought for our country overseas, now a suspected war criminal,” Hegseth said in opening the segment. “Former Green Beret Maj. Matt Golsteyn could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Taliban bomb maker while overseas in 2010.”