Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher said on Fox and Friends that it was "shocking" to hear his former subordinate admit that he killed the teenage ISIS prisoner of war whom Gallagher was accused of executing. This surprise confession derailed the prosecution’s case in a trial that ended with the SEAL’s acquittal of the most serious war crime charges.
Gallagher was arrested in September 2018 after his fellow SEALs member testified that their chief committed war crimes while supporting anti-ISIS operations in Mosul on his 8th deployment. In one case, the SEALs said the chief used a hunting knife to execute a teenage ISIS prisoner of war being treated by a medic for non-lethal injuries.
During the high-profile trial, that medic, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott was given legal immunity in exchange for speaking at court. There, he reversed his testimony and contradicted his comrades by confessing that he asphyxiated the POW as an act of mercy.
Gallagher was acquitted on all charges except for one on Monday. While the court’s verdict pronounced him guilty of posing with a dead corpse, the maximum prison time that the judge could sentence is shorter than the time served, according to the chief’s attorney, Tim Parlatore.
The chief admitted that in addition to the new information brought forth by Scott, that he had plenty of other surprises during the trial process.
"It was shocking, but this whole thing has been shocking," Gallagher said. “So, at that point, nothing was surprising to me. You know, I think Tim [the attorney] said it from the get-go, every day there's something new, expect the unexpected."
Meanwhile, Parlatore said that he "suspected" that Scott killed the ISIS prisoner based on his research, but admitted, “he never came out and told us beforehand."
The defense attorney added that the SEALs who testified against him were from a “certain generation of SEALs that don’t really fit into that traditional motion of brotherhood” while discussing their motivations for providing what he said were false testimony against Gallagher.
"There was – you know, during certain periods of time when they relaxed standards and had a large influx of people into the community," Parlatore said. "And so they – they weren’t up to Eddie Gallagher standards so that caused some friction and they decided to do something that I’m sure that they now regret."
Gallagher also thanked Fox News, several congressmen, and the president for supporting him throughout the trial process. Fox offered several interview opportunities for Gallagher’s family to speak on his behalf. The president meanwhile intervened in a rare move to give more comfortable accommodations for Gallagher while the trial was in process.
"I want to say thank you to you, Fox News, to you guys, Pete, for being with us from day one," Gallagher said. "You guys backed us from the beginning and I want to – especially want to say thank you to Congressman Duncan Hunter and Congressman Ralph Norman and also to President Trump for intervening when he did."