(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.
In a scathing letter, a top Navy legal official on Sunday expressed "grave ethical concerns" over revelations that government prosecutors used tracking software in emails to defense lawyers in ongoing cases involving two Navy SEALs in San Diego.
The letter, written by David G. Wilson, Chief of Staff of the Navy's Defense Service Offices, requested a response by Tuesday from the Chief of the Navy's regional law offices detailing exactly what type of software was used and what it could do, who authorized it, and what controls were put in place to limit its spread on government networks.
"As our clients learn about these extraordinary events in the media, we are left unarmed with any facts to answer their understandable concerns about our ability to secure the information they must trust us to maintain. This situation has become untenable," Wilson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Task & Purpose on Monday.
NORFOLK, Va. — Michelle Melgar knew her husband was dead before the chaplain showed up at her door.
Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was on a difficult deployment to Mali. He told his wife that the Navy SEALs he was working with were acting juvenile and immature.
One morning in June 2017, she woke up and saw that her husband had not texted her. That was extremely unusual.
She texted him "Are you OK?" but received no reply. She got nervous and texted him again. When he didn't reply, she got dressed and waited for her husband's colleagues from Special Forces to officially tell her that he was gone. They showed up soon after Melgar was confirmed dead on June 4, 2017, the result of an attack by four of his special operations colleagues in what has been described as a hazing incident.
On Thursday, one of the four U.S. service members accused of killing Staff Sgt. Melgar apologized to her in person while waiting to learn how long he would spend in prison.
The civilian attorney for a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes has filed a motion in the case accusing the prosecution and investigators of suppressing witness statements that could prove favorable to his client Navy SEAL Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher.
Gallagher, a 19-year SEAL, was arrested Sep. 11, 2018 on accusations that he stabbed and killed a wounded ISIS fighter and shot at unarmed civilians with a sniper rifle during his 2017 deployment with SEAL Team 7 to Mosul, Iraq.
But the April 23 motion, which calls evidence for the murder charge "weak," zeroes in on the sniper charges and seeks to have them dismissed since they "are absolutely unsustainable" and "rely solely on debunked hearsay statements," wrote Timothy Parlatore, Gallagher's attorney.
Seven Navy SEALs were warned that reporting the alleged war crimes of their teammates and calling for a formal investigation could jeopardize their careers, a Navy criminal investigation report revealed.