GOP senator: Trump needs to be 'very careful' on pardons of soldiers charged with war crimes

GOP senator: Trump needs to be 'very careful' on pardons of soldiers charged with war crimes
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Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstRepublicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members Congress braces for chaotic December Senate roundtable showcases importance and needs of women entrepreneurs MORE (R-Iowa) on Sunday urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE to be "careful" in his reported plans to pardon a number of military servicemen who were accused of war crimes.

Ernst told CNN’s Dana BashDana BashJudiciary Democrat: House impeaching Trump not a 'foregone conclusion' Judiciary Democrat who worked on Nixon impeachment says alleged Trump misconduct is worse Klobuchar says she's not worried about leaving campaign trail for impeachment trial: 'I meet whatever obstacle is put in front of me' MORE on “State of the Union” that she doesn’t “know the details” of the prosecution for Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher or others but urged the president to “be very careful” in making a determination on pardons.

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"I’ll just be upfront and say I don’t know the details of what went through the prosecution in that particular case," she said. "But I would say if our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, if they are accused and found guilty of war crimes, we need to be very careful in that because It is not OK to perpetrate war crimes."

The New York Times reported last week that Trump is seeking to pardon Gallagher, who was charged with a number of war crimes, including stabbing and murdering a wounded person and firing at unarmed civilians in Iraq.

The president is also reportedly looking at the case of a group of Marines who were charged with urinating on a dead Taliban member.

Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday that service members need to "understand" that "we operate under a code of ethics" and said Trump should be "very careful" in determining whether to issue pardons.

"I would just advise the president to be very careful, scrutinize each case individually, and if it’s warranted, grant a pardon," she said. "If it is not, and someone has committed a war crime, then a sentence should be served."