The Navy SEAL special ops chief whose name was cleared in the killing of a teenage Islamic State militant while deployed in Iraq says that he is still fighting his commanders.
Eddie Gallagher and his family told “FOX & Friends Weekend” on Saturday that despite a jury finding him not guilty of murder and attempted murder last month, the Navy still “have their thumb” on him.
“They are looking at any reason to prosecute me right now,” he said. “I’ve been happy to be home, be back with my kids and wife, trying to enjoy life as best as possible. Unfortunately, we are still in this fight, but we’re keeping our heads held high.”
Gallagher had been accused of stabbing to death a 15-year-old ISIS fighter in 2017 and then posing with the corpse for photos. A jury in San Diego found the decorated Navy SEAL not guilty on six of seven charges for his connection to the killing.
“It’s still surreal at this point. It’s hard to take in,” he said Saturday morning. “I have a lot of thoughts on the matter, but unfortunately I am still in the Navy, they still have their thumb on me.”
His wife, Andrea Gallagher, told co-host Pete Hegseth that they are still being “terrorized” by the Navy, which she said are withholding her husband’s retirement from the service.
“The problem with the system is that everyone told us to trust it. Everyone told us to trust the process, trust the system,” she said. “Well we did, we won and we’re still be terrorized.”
She added: “They are trying to take away his rank, they are trying to get his retirement, his ability to get his disability. All of these things are sour grapes because they lost.”
Gallagher’s brother Sean said his brother has been vindicated, but that the Navy is “so mad they lost” that they are trying to prevent him from going home and living his life like a normal person.
“The guy has been in [the Navy] 20 years, eight combat tours,” he said. “They are going to say [that] in 10 years when you need to go to the VA, you can’t do that anymore. That is what they are holding over us now. All we want to do is retire peacefully [and] let Eddie and his family do what they have earned – live a normal life.”
This week President Trump directed the Navy to rescind medals that had been awarded to the lawyers who prosecuted the case.
“The Prosecutors who lost the case against SEAL Eddie Gallagher (who I released from solitary confinement so he could fight his case properly), were ridiculously given a Navy Achievement Medal,” he tweeted Wednesday. “Not only did they lose the case, they had difficulty with respect to information that may have been obtained from opposing lawyers and for giving immunity in a totally incompetent fashion.”
Gallagher called it an embarrassment by the Navy to award the prosecutors the medals and thanked the president for stepping in. Meanwhile, his wife praised the president for being proactive throughout the entire case.
“I think that the president has been brilliant in this. He has seen so much similarity in what he’s gone through. I think that’s why he’s been so proactive,” she said. “I think my husband has been villainized, he’s been smeared, lied about. And his own command has been consistently betraying him over this process. I want my husband home.”
Also this week, the Navy dismissed the charges against Gallaher's platoon leader, Lt. Jacob Portier, and ordered a review of its review system. Portier was charged with covering up war crimes in connection with the Gallagher prosecution and faced trial in September.