On May 22, Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA) warned President Trump not to intervene with military judicial proceedings. Trump reportedly contemplated preemptively admonishing a service member suspected of a war crime.
The service member in question is Navy SEAL and Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher. Gallagher stands trial for allegedly stabbing a teenage ISIS prisoner to death with a hunting knife and firing machine gun rounds into civilian Iraqi neighborhoods. The SEAL is in custody at the brig on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar while awaiting court-martial.
Rep. Peters claims that Trump’s interference and would “undermine the honor of those who have served with integrity and adherence to the military code of conduct.” Peters’s criticism would have been significantly more appropriate if President Trump had already admonished Gallagher from charges. Instead, Peters’s comments serve little purpose other than to transform Gallagher’s court case into a partisan issue.
While Gallagher’s alleged actions are certainly concerning, President Trump, is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. The commander-in-chief should have the ability to participate in judicial affairs within the U.S. Armed Forces without having his authority questioned by unaffiliated congressmen.
“I call on President Trump to not interfere and to let the military, not politicians, administer justice,” requested Congressman Peters. Considering that the commander-in-chief is defined as the supreme commander of the armed forces of a nation, Peters’ statement about President Trump is not only fallacious but extremely inappropriate.
Congressman Peters has polarized President Trump’s contemplation of Gallagher’s offenses, claiming that Trump is simply “short-circuiting the justice system for cheap political points.” Peters’ statement serves as a cheap shot at President Trump, highlighting an issue under consideration to condemn Trump as biased before a decision has even been made.
Photo from The White House