Trump brings pardoned soldiers on stage at Florida fundraiser: report

President Trump brought two soldiers he pardoned last month on stage at a Florida Republican fundraiser Saturday night, the Miami Herald reports. 

Trump brought Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn and Army Lt. Clint Lorance, who he pardoned over cases involving war crimes, on stage at the Florida GOP’s annual Statesman’s Dinner, the newspaper reported citing six people who attended the event. 

Golsteyn, a former Green Beret, was charged with murder in the death of an Afghan man during a deployment in the country in 2010. He had pleaded not guilty in the case.

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Lorance was found guilty in 2013 or murder in the second degree for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle. He has served six years in the 19-year prison sentence he received for the charge. 

Pentagon leaders reportedly had privately opposed the controversial pardons.

Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyVermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism VOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage Hillicon Valley: Twitter bans thousands of QAnon accounts | Bipartisan support grows for election funds in Senate stimulus bill | Senate committee advances bill to ban TikTok from federal devices MORE (D-Vt.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLiability shield fight threatens to blow up relief talks Democrats call for McConnell to bring Voting Rights Act to floor in honor of Lewis Hillicon Valley: Russian hackers return to spotlight with vaccine research attack | Twitter says 130 accounts targeted in this week's cyberattack | Four fired, dozens suspended in CBP probe into racist, sexist Facebook groups MORE (D-R.I.) sent a letter last month to the Department of Justice asking for information on if the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney was involved in the decision. The senators asked for answers no later than Dec. 13.

Critics of the pardon argued that Trump’s move could send a message to troops that they don’t need to follow rules of engagement when fighting abroad.

The Miami Herald reported that the 1,000 attendees were asked to check their cell phones into individual locked cases and reporters were not allowed to attend the event which raised $3.5 million for the party. 

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The attendees that spoke to the Herald said Trump was a “total comedian” at the event, doing impressions of Democrats including House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Trump says he's considering executive action to suspend evictions, payroll tax Trump won't say if he disagrees with Birx that virus is widespread MORE (D-Calif.), and said parts of his speech were similar to his tweets calling the impeachment inquiry “a sham” and a “witch hunt”

Trump also praised the Florida GOP for their work in the state, the Herald reported. 

The same night Trump spoke to the Israeli American Council in Hollywood, Fla.