The Navy will “not pursue further action” against retired SEAL Eddie Gallagher after he said during a May podcast that “we killed that guy,” referring to an Islamic State captive.
“The Navy reviewed the matter and will not pursue further action. Gallagher’s statements were not corroborated, nor does substantive information exist to merit an investigation based on those statements,” Navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Courtney Hillson told The Hill on Tuesday.
Hillson added that evidence against Gallagher related to medical treatment and the death of the detainee “was already investigated and/or adjudicated at Gallagher’s court-martial.”
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Constitution, “he cannot be prosecuted again for these alleged offenses,” the spokeswoman said.
Politico first reported on the decision.
Gallagher in 2018 was charged with using a hunting knife to murder Khaled Jamal Abdullah — a 17-year-old ISIS captive who was already injured, among other charges stemming from a 2017 deployment to Iraq.
But a member of Gallagher's team testified that he killed the prisoner instead of Gallagher, leading to his acquittal.
Gallagher was instead convicted of one charge of posing with the captive’s body, and the Navy demoted him from chief petty officer to petty officer first class.
The decision became divisive after then-President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE in 2019 signed an order restoring Gallagher’s rank and pressed the Navy to allow him to keep his Trident pin, signifying his role as a Navy SEAL.
Then-Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was fired amid the fallout from Trump’s decision to reverse the demotion.
But on a May 4 episode of “The Line” podcast, Gallagher said he and his fellow SEALs intended to practice medical procedures on the dying captive and that they had all agreed to the idea.
“The grain of truth in the whole thing is that that ISIS fighter was killed by us and that nobody at that time had a problem with it,” Gallagher said.
“We killed that guy. Our intention was to kill him. Everybody was on board,” Gallagher added. “It was to do medical scenarios on him until he died.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Navy probe reveals disastrous ship fire response Pentagon says almost half of Afghan evacuees at US bases are children Russian fighters escort US bombers over Black Sea MORE in May said the Navy was investigating Gallagher's claims.