Trump: Navy SEAL accused of war crimes to get ‘less restrictive confinement’

UPDATE: Gallagher was removed from the brig Saturday evening and allowed to move around parts of the base.

SAN DIEGO —  A Navy SEAL accused of murder being held in San Diego will move to a “less restrictive confinement,” President Trump announced Saturday.

Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher was arrested last fall and is being held at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, according to navy officials.

“It’s great news and Congressman Hunter appreciates the Presidents leadership and direct involvement on this important issue. Despite this positive news, however, there is more work to do and Congressman Hunter is actively engaging with the Gallagher family in requesting the Navy’s relocation accomplish the goals of a fair trial, increased access to his family nad attorneys and Chief Gallagher’s overall well-being,” said Congressman Duncan Hunter in a statement to FOX 5.

Gallagher has been charged with various violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice while deployed to Mosul, Iraq, in 2017. He has been accused of stabbing and murdering a wounded person, shooting at noncombatants and posing for a photo and performing his re-enlistment ceremony next to a dead body.

Gallagher’s wife and brother recently spoke to FOX 5 and said all allegations are false.

Trump said the move was “in honor of his past service to our country.”

Several dozen members of Congress, led by South Carolina Republican Rep. Ralph Norman, have been pushing to move Gallagher as he awaits trial in May.

Norman said Friday on Twitter he had spoken with Trump about moving Gallagher and that it was “appropriate that he be treated as a decorated soldier who still has the presumption of innocence.” Austin Livingston, a spokesman for Norman, said he did not have any details about the timing of Gallagher’s relocation and said the congressman was not taking a position on Gallagher’s guilt or innocence.

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