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Trump expected to intervene in Golsteyn, Lorance, and Gallagher war crimes cases by Veterans Day
President Donald Trump is poised to order the Army to dismiss charges against Maj. Matthew Golsteyn and former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and force the Navy to make SEAL Eddie Gallagher a chief again, Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth stated on Monday.
Gallagher was found not guilty of killing a wounded ISIS fighter but he was convicted of posing for a picture with the dead man and demoted to first class petty officer. Golsteyn is accused of murder after repeatedly admitting he killed an unarmed Afghan man 10 years ago, whom he believed was a Taliban bomb maker. Lorance was convicted of murder in August 2013 for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men whom he believed were Taliban bomb makers, killing two of them.
Trump is expected to intervene in all three cases by Veterans Day, Hegseth said during Monday's edition of Fox & Friends.
"I was able to confirm yesterday from the president of the United States himself – the commander in chief – that action is imminent, especially in the two cases of Clint Lorance and Matt Golsteyn," said Hegseth, who enjoys a close relationship with Trump.
"The president will be speaking to the Army secretary about this because both Lorance and Golsteyn are soldiers in the Army," Hegseth continued. "It doesn't have to be a pardon or a commutation. It could be, but pardons and commutations, they imply guilt – that you've done something wrong and you need to be forgiven for that."
"The president … has a lot of latitude under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to dismiss a case or change a sentence. From what I understand that is likely what will happen here shortly."
Golsteyn's court-martial is expected to begin on Dec. 2 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His attorney Phillip Stackhouse confirmed to Task & Purpose that Trump is expected to speak to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy about this case this week.
"We are very grateful the president is taking action in Major Golsteyn's case," Stackhouse said on Monday. "As the most senior court-martial convening authority under the Code, the president has many options available to him - including assuming jurisdiction of this case and dismissing the charge with prejudice."
Lorance is serving a 19-year prison sentence at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His attorney Don Brown declined to talk about his discussions with the White House about what the president might do.
"I hope that the president will sign and order to disapprove the findings and sentencing of Clint's court-martial; to order him released immediately from Leavenworth and to order to the secretary of the Army to return him to active-duty," Brown told Task & Purpose.
The president is also expected to order the Navy to restore Gallagher's rank and prevent his SEAL trident from being taken away, Hegseth said during Fox & Friends.
The Navy had planned to take away Gallagher's trident on Friday, but they had delayed that move until Monday, said Gallagher's attorney Timothy Parlatore.
However, Parlatore wrote a letter on Sunday to Rear Adm. Collin Green, head of Naval Special Warfare Command, warning that any further punitive action taken against the SEAL would be illegal.
Gallagher has already lost his nomination for a Silver Star, a promotion to E-8, and nearly $200,000 from his pension earnings, Parlatore wrote.
"If you choose to move forward with any further unlawful retaliatory efforts against our client, we are prepared to use every additional option available to us including, but not limited to, an Article 138 complaint, a criminal complaint for violating UCMJ Article 132, and a lawsuit before the Court of Federal Claims," Parlatore wrote.
Two Air Force pararescue Airmen were awarded the Silver Star Medal on Friday for saving dozens of lives during separate Afghan battles in 2018 and 2019.
Tech Sgt. Gavin Fisher and Staff Sgt. Daniel Swensen both received the third highest military award for their bravery. Fisher also received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government covertly moved to expel two officials from the Chinese embassy earlier this year, after they drove onto a military base, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
The newspaper reported on Sunday that one of the two Chinese officials is believed to be an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover.
The Chinese officials breached security at a base in Virginia this fall, and only stopped driving after fire trucks were used to block their path, the Times said.
Trump set to announce he's withdrawing 4,000 troops from Afghanistan amid troubled peace talks with Taliban
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
President Donald Trump is set to announce the withdrawal of roughly 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan as early as next week, NBC News reported on Saturday based on conversations with three current and former officials.
This would come as the US is engaged in ongoing, troubled peace talks with the Taliban. The talks resumed in early December after Trump abruptly scrapped negotiations with the Taliban in September, only to be paused again this week after an attack near Bagram Airfield on Wednesday.
Thomas Hoke can still recall the weather in December 1944, and the long days that followed.
The battle started on Dec. 16, but his company arrived Dec. 27 and would stay there until the battle's end, nearly a month later. By the time he arrived, snow had blanketed Germany in what was one of the biggest storms the country had seen in years.
"It was 20 below and a heavy fog encompassed the whole area," Hoke, 96, recalled from his Emmitsburg home.
The fog was to Germany's advantage because Allied aircraft were grounded, including recognizance flights, allowing the Nazis to slip in.
West Point is investigating a hand gesture made by several cadets and midshipmen during an ESPN pre-game broadcast at the Army-Navy game Saturday after clips of the signals went viral because of their association with white power.
"West Point is looking into the matter," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "At this time we do not know the intent of the cadets."