As of today, the Navy was still planning to convene a Trident Review Board on December 2 to decide whether SOC Eddie Gallagher should be kicked out of the SEALs. The order, from SEAL Commander Rear Adm. Collin Green, came after President Trump had restored Gallagher’s rank and of course, after Gallagher was cleared of all major charges against him.
So basically, the Navy is saying we don’t care what the commander in chief thinks.
The commander in chief, however, thinks they can take that idea and shove it right up their fourth point of contact.
Today the president tweeted, "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 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
Gallagher also received support from Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, the operator credited for double-tapping Osama bin Laden. He offered to give Gallagher his pin.
I’ll give Chief Gallagher my Trident. https://t.co/1ifzpsGAl7— Robert J. O'Neill (@mchooyah) November 20, 2019
And Eric Trump, the president’s number two son echoed his father’s sentiment, calling the whole situation “an absolute sham and nothing more than ego and vindictive hatred!”
This is an absolute sham and nothing more than ego and vindictive hatred! Eddie won! Stop the BS and let this guy go back to living his life.— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) November 20, 2019
“Edward Gallagher: Navy launches review of SEAL's fitness to serve in elite force - CNNPolitics” https://t.co/uYNfVKOGCd
Paperwork regarding the review board was provided to the Navy Times showing Green has personally ordered Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher and his former officer in charge of Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7, Lt. Jacob X. “Jake” Portier to appear.
Weeks after Gallagher’s case collapsed in court last summer, all charges were withdrawn against Portier as well. Portier had been accused of helping Gallagher cover up crimes which never actually occurred, according to a military jury.
But hey, why let a little thing like a “not guilty verdict” stand in the way when you really want to screw somebody over?
The Navy Times reports, "Master Chief Special Warfare Operator David Goode will chair a panel that includes a commissioned officer, Cmdr. Peter Logan, alongside three other SEAL master chiefs — SOCMs Craig Thomas, Daniel Schroeder and Timothy Ige.
It’s unclear why an enlisted SEAL will preside over a commissioned officer, but that’s how Naval Special Warfare set up the board."
And it gets even worse.
"Gallagher isn’t allowed to be represented by legal counsel. He’s allowed to review the evidence against him in a room set aside for his use, but he can’t copy it or take pictures of it.
He must submit a list of witnesses to Green by Nov. 27 but the rear admiral will determine if the witness is relevant or reasonably available before greenlighting an appearance before the panel.
The proceedings will be closed to the public and even other witnesses."
Oh yeah, that’s totally fair.
Marc Mukasey, one of the attorneys representing Gallagher said “They cheated. We played fair. They covered up corruption. We exposed it. They lost at trial. We won the trial. They want Eddie to suffer. We want him to retire in peace. They’re retaliating. We’re not shutting up.”
And neither is President Trump – which is of course why the haters hate him.
Assuming the review goes forward, Gallagher will get his chance to appear before the panel at 8 a.m. on Dec. 4, but The Navy Times says they must make their recommendation to Green two days later.
Stay tuned. It ain’t over yet.