Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh, the military judge in the case, decided to release Gallagher at the end of a hearing on Thursday, said Navy Region Southwest spokesman Brian O'Rourke. Gallagher's trial is expected to begin in about two weeks.
(Flickr/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp)
Retired U.S. Navy Adm. William McRaven, a former Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, warned that President Donald Trump "needs to be very careful" about a presidential pardon for several military veterans accused of war crimes.
"I think the president needs to be very careful at this point," McRaven said in a Fox News interview on Tuesday. "Obviously the president can pardon [whomever] he thinks is appropriate to pardon."
"But the way it works in the military, you have to be careful as a senior commander about unduly influencing the process before the investigation has been adjudicated," McRaven added.
The New York Times reported Saturday that Trump is taking steps to officially pardon service members accused of committing war crimes whose cases have garnered significant media attention by Memorial Day. This comes after Hegseth, an Iraq War veteran, spent months encouraging Trump in private to issue the controversial pardons.