Retired Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, who was acquitted for the murder of a teenage ISIS fighter in a highly-publicized and politicized 2019 court martial, accused fellow former SEAL Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) of having led a secret campaign to undermine Republican support for his case in Congress.
Though Crenshaw disputes the claims, the campaign allegedly happened while the Texas politician was assuring Gallagher’s family and members of the SEAL community that he would try his best to “save” him.
— Jameson Ellis (@thejamesonellis) April 15, 2023
Gallagher’s wife Andrea and brother Sean, as well as a number of SEALs who worked anonymously for fear of Navy reprisal, were leading the charge to garner public support for him while he was in pretrial confinement for 9 months with practically no access to legal counsel.
According to Gallagher, his brother and teammates went to Crenshaw asking for his support as a SEAL veteran himself, in addition to many other congressmen on both sides of the aisle. Crenshaw’s staff allegedly gave the brother “the run-around” and, when he finally reached Crenshaw, the Texas congressman initially expressed a wish to hold off until the situation developed further.
Crenshaw’s outlook reportedly changed when a SEAL who was on the ground the day of the alleged incident spoke face-to-face with Crenshaw at a fundraising party, after which Crenshaw promised to look into the matter.
Crenshaw is the ultimate scumbag, the ultimate obedient DOG for the Regime
Crenshaw can eat out of the dog dish… he’s no hero https://t.co/zOYbPQqKda
— Darren J. Beattie 🌐 (@DarrenJBeattie) April 16, 2023
Gallagher’s brother reached out a second time and allegedly was told that there still wasn’t enough information for Crenshaw to commit to helping. After a scathing email, Crenshaw allegedly again promised to “see what he could do”.
Just over half a year into Gallagher’s incarceration in a high-security brig with sex offenders, 50 congressmen signed a letter requesting either his release or remand to a lower-security facility where he could meet with his family and lawyers, but Crenshaw refused to sign on.
Instead, Crenshaw wrote his own letter – not demanding Gallagher’s release or transfer – but simply asking for Gallagher to be allowed access to his legal counsel, which was his Constitutional right in any event.
Gallagher was transferred to a low-security facility four days later, on the order of President Trump, and was released from custody entirely two months later after a judicial finding of prosecutorial misconduct.
I’m confident Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will soon have a fair trial.
Until then, I question whether highly restrictive pre-trial confinement is warranted for a decorated soldier who is still presumed innocent, or if a less restrictive form of custody is more appropriate. pic.twitter.com/uQ6TtHpcwv
— Rep. Ralph Norman (@RepRalphNorman) March 28, 2019
After acquittal, Gallagher says he ran into Dan Crenshaw at a Turning Point event and approached him to have a polite conversation about his lack of support, but Crenshaw bolted after he saw him. Gallagher later wrote a book about his experiences and went to a book signing with the 50 congressmen who supported him.
At that event, he says he was told by multiple congressmen that – while Crenshaw had been equivocating with Sean and the SEALs about supporting Gallagher – he was privately asking each of them to not to support Gallagher, saying that he clearly was guilty and that “it was his community, so they need to butt out.”
It was one thing not to support me … but Dan, knowing full well the truth, still went and tried to put me away for life without parole. Dan was trying to kill me. He was doing this for political favor. He was doing this to climb the political ladder. The reason I put this out right now… is because if Dan Crenshaw is willing to lie to gain favor with other politicians to climb that political ladder and pretty much throw somebody away for life, what do you think he’s doing to the American people? This man can not stop lying … He’ll say whatever it takes to get people on his side and then do the opposite behind the scenes. This has been a repeating habit of his since he’s been in office.
Gallagher then read a text message allegedly from Crenshaw to fellow retired SEAL Chief David Goggins, in which Crenshaw called Gallagher a “piece of shit” for being ungrateful “after I tried helping him get out of prison.”
This is message is “chock full of lies”, according to Gallagher, because Crenshaw wrote it after bad-mouthing Goggins on a prior podcast and the idea that Crenshaw had helped Gallagher “get out of prison” was ridiculous.
Gallagher and Goggins first started communicating after the latter SEAL lit into Crenshaw in a two-hour podcast on April 4. Gallagher concluded his video by stating that he has evidence of all his accusations, including the text message and a log of his brother’s interactions with Crenshaw.
Crenshaw posted a half-hour response video to Goggins on April 7.
The Gallagher prosecution was extraordinary in the sense that there was practically no physical evidence, as the Navy had not begun their investigation until over a year after the alleged incident. No autopsies were done. Analysis of an alleged murder weapon – a knife – found no trace of DNA on the blade or sheath.
The public story was relentlessly negative at the start, characterized by frequent leaks of prosecution-friendly information to left-wing media outlets. Many of the negative articles about Gallagher have since been deleted.
While the public smear campaign continued with a steady drip of selectively-edited testimony – much of it hearsay – to make guilt appear incontrovertible, a whisper campaign began in Washington to keep Republicans and Democrats who might otherwise be supportive from helping him. According to early Gallagher backer Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Dan Walsh – meeting him alongside Navy SEAL Rear. Adm. Keith Davids – claimed that there was a “damning video” which proved Gallagher’s guilt and that he’d end up “embarrassed” if he kept supporting him.
With the latest news, some speculate that Crenshaw was the point man for the private effort to crush support from Congress.
The tide turned for Gallagher when former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik – who led the NYPD during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 – teamed up with Norman and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) to make the public case for Gallagher. After securing the letter of support signed by 50 congressmen, Hunter then found the so-called “damning video” of helmet-cam footage and screened it for his colleagues.
Instead of proving Gallagher’s guilt and “embarrassing” his supporters, Hunter said the video – which has never been publicly released – was proof of his innocence.
Their efforts finally culminated in a bombshell report by Breitbart which, for the first time, revealed the other side of the story in full.
Contrary to the mainstream media narrative, that report revealed that the initial complaints against Gallagher were not about war crimes, but instead concerned petty grievances like stealing half a jar of cookie butter, a sugary snack spread popular in Europe. A small band of SEALs had formed a Whatsapp group chat to discuss their complaints about their commanding officer and this conversation continued for nearly half a year without ever once mentioning war crimes.
When these initial complaints failed to torpedo Gallagher’s upcoming promotion and Silver Star, they escalated to accusing him of making grievous errors in tactical judgment. These accusations appear to stem from a difference in opinion from younger SEALs, who wanted to do heavily-practiced nighttime raids that their training prepared them for rather than high-risk, high-reward daytime raids that Gallagher learned to do in the Battle of Fallujah.
One Assistant Officer In Charge (AOIC) in particular was horrified that Gallagher wanted to make sure the SEALs would get “Troops In Contact” combat experience, as he believed that intentionally getting them into a gun battle would endanger American lives for no tactical or strategic benefit. Gallagher had sidelined them from action – calling them “cowards” and “pussies”.
It was only after these escalated complaints failed to move commanders that some of the SEALs began to accuse him of war crimes, while others dropped their accusations entirely. These initial charges finally succeeded in stopping Gallagher’s promotion and award, but – as their accounts were purely hearsay and rumor with no testimony of direct knowledge of war crimes – the JAG refused to prosecute. The dissident SEALs then went to their command and directly asked what they needed to testify to in order to “get rid” of him, after which they changed their stories.
Warning: Graphic image
According to evidence provided to the Navy Times, “one of the SEAL witnesses at one point tried to get others in the platoon together to make sure their stories jibed with what they’d tell investigators.”
From that point, the case took on a life of its own. Investigators slipped questions about war crimes into a polygraph – Gallagher passed the polygraph, but prosecutors never disclosed the results to his defense. NCIS then arrested Gallagher and interrogated him for 7 hours without legal counsel, while 28 NCIS agents in full SWAT gear raided his house and held his children at gunpoint on the lawn in their underwear. The raid took place when their mother was not present.
Gallagher’s acquittal was a major black eye for the Navy’s JAG Corps and NCIS, which culminated in the firing of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer by Defense Secretary Mark Esper for going outside the chain of command in an attempt to make a secret deal with the White House to stop Trump from publicly supporting Gallagher.
The chief prosecutor, Commander Christopher Czaplak, was ordered off the case before the trial even began after being caught using tracking software on emails sent to defense counsel and a reporter.
This took place in the midst of numerous defense accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, including leaking to taint the jury pool, coercion of prosecution witnesses, intimidation of defense witnesses, withholding of exculpatory evidence and tampering with video testimony. NCIS Special Agent Joseph Warpinski also admitted on the stand that he’d repeatedly broken ethics rules and got basic facts wrong in his investigation of Gallagher.
@USNavy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher Update: #NCIS S/A Joseph Warpinski on cross-examination by @MarcMukasey has admitted that he lied and deceived witnesses, violated NCIS policies, and distorted facts in a federal search warrant while targeting Chief Gallagher. #bias #corrupt
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) June 25, 2019
The defining moment of the trial, however, was when prosecution witness Special Operator First Class Corey Scott – in a Perry-Mason-like moment – spontaneously admitted to having killed the wounded ISIS fighter himself by obstructing his breathing tube. Scott said it was a “mercy killing”, under the rationale that the boy’s preexisting wounds made saving his life impossible and – even if he were to survive – Scott wanted to spare the boy the rape and torture he’d inevitably receive at the hands of American-friendly Iraqi forces.
This reflected a widespread moral quandary in the region, where American military members “following the rules” and handing enemy prisoners over to coalition forces would be subjecting them to far worse abuse than soldiers who committed extrajudicial killings.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits American troops from transferring custody of prisoners who they believe may be tortured or murdered; however, on a practical level, the number of prisoners held if this rule had been followed would have been enough to render American forces completely combat-ineffective.
Under an immunity agreement, Scott’s testimony could not be used against him, but conceivably the Navy could have charged him with perjury for inconsistencies with prior testimony. In the end, they chose to drop the matter entirely after Gallagher was acquitted. Despite the many accusations of corruption, four military attorneys on the case were given Navy Achievement Medals a week after the trial.
Crenshaw’s team disputed Gallagher’s series of events in a statement to Valiant News, insisting “Crenshaw was fighting for Gallagher” and neither advocated “continued incarceration” nor lobbied other congressmen against freeing him, citing this Fox News article.
“Nearly everything Eddie Gallagher claimed in his video was inaccurate,” Crenshaw’s team told us, “and falsely portrays Congressman Crenshaw’s attempts to help him.”
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