The brother of a decorated Navy SEAL leader who is accused of war crimes slammed the case against him as one that is “based on lies.”
Sean Gallagher told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that his brother, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, was being accused by “malcontents” who lied “to paint my brother as a villain.”
In nearly two decades of service, Gallagher earned the Bronze Star with V for Valor twice, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals and a Meritorious Unit commendation among other recognitions. The 39-year-old married father of three, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, remained jailed in a Navy brig in California facing charges that he killed an injured ISIS prisoner of war in Iraq in 2017, according to Fox News.
At a hearing on Friday, Gallagher pleaded not guilty to a charge of premeditated murder, being accused of stabbing and killing a wounded person as well as shooting at civilians. If found guilty, Gallagher could face life in prison.
His brother minced no words in calling out his “reckless” accusers and the sham of a case against the decorated veteran.
“Every single statement that was just said, every accusation made, every slanderous comment all boils down to this bottom line,” Sean Gallagher began.
“My brother reprimanded a couple guys in combat who buckled under his leadership because they were new and inexperienced and because they put men’s lives in danger by not wanting to take the fight to the enemy. My brother called them out on this, he reprimanded them. And when they got back, only months later, they spun up these stories,” he said.
“Every allegation you just heard stems from a couple of malcontents who even admitted to tampering with my brother’s rifle so he couldn’t fire at the enemy in combat. This is how reckless they were,” Gallagher continued.
“So this entire investigation I want to make it clear – crystal clear – is based upon lies. It’s based upon the testimony of these malcontents who were concerned about their own reputation so they spun the stories to paint my brother as a villain so that they could escape criticism,” he said.
Friday’s hearing was a preliminary step leading up to the trial scheduled to begin on February 19 and the Navy SEAL’s brother accused prosecutors of trying to intimidate members of the SEAL team.
“There’s only a couple who actually make these damning statements. There are nine that prosecutors claim to be on their side but have actually just lawyered up and don’t want to talk to them because they are afraid they will be gone after the same way my brother has been gone after,” Gallagher explained.
“So you have to look at the case as just an overzealous, out-of-control prosecution that’s trying to make a career out of taking down a Navy SEAL which should make every American’s blood boil because of the premise,” Gallagher added. “The premise of this thing is that my brother killed an already dying ISIS fighter in combat. That’s brass tacks. He denied all of it. We have mounds of evidence that exonerate him.”
Gallagher argued that despite the evidence backing his brother, prosecutors are trying to “intimidate” his brother’s teammates by threatening them “saying ‘I’ll go after your career. I’ll end your Navy SEAL career if you don’t start lying about Eddie Gallagher.’ This is the treatment we’ve experience horrendously over the past four to five months,” Gallagher told MacCallum.
Two Navy SEALs who testified at Friday’s hearing praised Gallgher’s character with one saying, “I’d like to have him on the battleground on any given day,” CNN reported.
“This is a travesty of justice and it needs to be righted,” Gallagher’s wife, Andrea, told CNN as she walked into the court at the Naval Base San Diego on Friday.
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