By Danielle Wallace
Published July 16, 2019
The defense attorney who won an acquittal for decorated Navy SEAL Edward "Eddie" Gallagher earlier this month is seeking a waiver to rejoin the Navy at a higher rank to help teach prosecutors how they mishandled the case.
Timothy Parlatore successfully defended Gallagher, 40, who was found not guilty on almost all charges he was facing, including murder and attempted murder, in the death of a teenage Islamic State member in Iraq. Gallagher was accused of stabbing to death a 15-year-old ISIS fighter in 2017 and posing with the corpse for photos.
Parlatore, who served in the Navy himself until leaving the reserve in 2013, told the Washington Examiner he hopes to rejoin the Navy to introduce a new perspective to the Navy legal system's "insular" community. He said he’s concerned for law-abiding warfighters who may have followed Gallagher’s trial. The fear of not being treated fairly by military prosecutors should they be accused of a crime may cause Navy fighters to second guess themselves in combat, Parlatore said.
"Everyone is in their own little bubble, and somebody needs to come in and shake things up," Parlatore said of the Navy's legal system. "In the end, it's still an institution that I love and that can grow from this experience."
Parlatore pointed out how prosecutors attached surveillance software to email correspondence with the defense-- what he said was one of many ways prosecutors mishandled the trial. Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh, the judge who oversaw the court martial, dismissed the Navy’s lead prosecutor Cmdr. Chris Czaplak for the offense.
He also argued that prosecutors failed to do their research, as was revealed during a line of cross-examination on June 20 when Gallagher's colleague, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, admitted to asphyxiating the ISIS fighter back in 2017. Scott's testimony contradicted that of at least seven other SEALs who said Gallagher stabbed the ISIS fighter after medics administered treatment to him, ultimately resulting in the teenager's death.
Parlatore served in the Navy on the USS Normandy when it was deployed to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda after 9/11 attacks, the Washington Examiner reported. He also worked counter-piracy operations in Somali before leaving active duty in 2005 to attend law school. He left the reserve in 2013.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and Dan Gallo in San Diego contributed to this report.