Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said Friday that he believes Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher should face a board of his peers to determine whether he should be removed from the force, despite opposition from President Trump.
“I believe the process matters for good order and discipline,” Spencer told Reuters.
In July, a military jury convicted Gallagher, 40, of posing for pictures with a corpse of an ISIS fighter during a 2017 deployment in Iraq. The conviction resulted in loss of rank and reduction in pay, but didn’t include jail time.
Gallagher was acquitted on several other charges, including murder of the fighter’s death and firing on unarmed civilians.
Last week, Trump weighed in on the situation, demanding that the Navy restore Gallagher’s rank and pay grade.
However, on Tuesday, the Navy notified Gallagher that a five-member board of fellow Naval commandos would meet on Dec. 2 to review his case, Reuters reports. The board will reportedly recommend whether or not Gallagher is fit to remain in the SEALs.
Trump weighed in again on Thursday, tweeting: “The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
The Navy responded in a statement, reportedly saying that it would follow “lawful orders” from Trump regarding the situation, suggesting that a formal order had not been passed down.