Special Operations Chief Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher‘s court trial for war crimes turned upside down after another Navy SEAL revealed that he’s the one who killed a wounded ISIS fighter while in Iraq.
Gallagher has been fighting against the war crimes, including allegedly stabbing and killing an ISIS teen who was in custody in 2017. If convicted, he would spend the rest of his life in prison. He has denied the accusations.
However, during the trial on Thursday, after first testifying that he saw Gallagher stab the ISIS prisoner, things took a turn when SEAL Team Seven medic Corey Scott said during his testimony that he is the one who caused the death of the ISIS teen.
Scott claimed that he put his thumb over the ISIS prisoner’s breathing tube inserted in his mouth until the person asphyxiated. When asked if Gallagher killed the prisoner, Scott said, “No.”
“I knew he was going to die anyway,” Scott said. “I wanted to save him from waking up to what had happened next.”
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The “highly irregular, highly unusual” testimony drew a response from Fox News’ senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitano, who said that “if it happens once in your lifetime, that’s a lot that a witness gets on the stand and says, ‘He didn’t do it, I did.'”
“This is almost Perry Mason-like. […] What stands out to me is this is a government witness that the government chose to put on the stand, obviously, without thoroughly debriefing the witness as to what the witness is going to say. It’s almost unheard of for the government witness to say, ‘I did it.’
What also stands out to me is that this witness is under oath and made a public confession to murder and a war crime at the same time, which is obviously good news for the defendant but not good news for the witness.”
It’s unclear what will occur going forward.
President Donald Trump previously requested files of several military members accused or convicted of war crimes to consider pardoning them, including Gallagher, according to two U.S. officials. However, that request drew some hesitation from a Republican lawmaker, and Memorial Day weekend had passed, which is when it was expected to occur.