SAN DIEGO -- Congressman Duncan Hunter showed members of Congress helmet camera video that he claims exonerates Edward Gallagher, the Navy SEAL chief accused of several war crimes, including murder of a teenage ISIS fighter.
Hunter said there is a protective order on the video so the public cannot see it at this time. Wednesday he held a press conference to give reporters his impression of the video
“This is the smoking gun, and there’s no gun whatsoever," Hunter said. "By looking at the videos, by looking at the pictures, there was no stabbing. No one got stabbed with a knife. You have an ISIS combatant who died from his injuries."
Hunter said the teen was the only survivor of an airstrike.
“He’s the only guy that lived. Between 30 and 50 ISIS fighters died. He was the only one that lived. The Iraqis took him, yet we have the video of the Iraqi military not performing any medical triage to this ISIS terrorist,” Hunter said.
Politicians who saw the video said when the teen was handed over to the Navy SEALS they, including Gallagher, started performing first aid.
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 the wounded teen, shooting at civilians and posing for a photo and performing his re-enlistment ceremony next to a dead body.
“Some of the witnesses against Chief Gallagher also got photos with the dead body,” Hunter said.
Gallagher's younger brother Sean said he has not seen the video because of the protective order, but is ready for it to come out in court.
“He’s been painted as a villain when he’s actually the opposite. He’s a guy who dedicated his life to serving this country selflessly. So yeah, I feel like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. I think he wants this trial to come sooner rather than later. He’s been asking for a speedy trial since day one,” Sean Gallagher said.
Navy officials sent the following in an email:
"The UCMJ ensures the full opportunity for the defense to present evidence at trial. The Navy has no comment on such evidence being circulated outside of that process."
Gallagher's trial is set for May 28.