(NEW YORK) — The wife of a former Navy SEAL, now on trial for the murder of a teenage member of ISIS while he served in Iraq in 2017, said she believes the government’s prosecution is finally being revealed as “vile and corrupt.”
Two days after a shocking twist in the trial of former Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, his wife, brother and lawyer sat down with Good Morning America to say they anticipate Eddie Gallagher will be found completely innocent.
“I feel great after a week of listening to the government’s witnesses,” Andrea Gallagher told GMA. “I feel more confident than ever that my husband will finally get his day in court and get the ability to prove his innocence.”
On Thursday, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott revealed for the first time that he saw Gallagher stab the ISIS prisoner in 2017, but said it was himself who suffocated the teen to death, describing it as an act of mercy.
Gallagher’s wife downplayed Scott’s admission and said her husband would be found innocent regardless.
“The witnesses’ inconsistencies to me were as powerful as Corey Scott taking responsibility,” she said. “I felt like that every single witness they brought forward was pretty inconsistent.”
But the prosecution has presented text messages sent by Gallagher to his platoon, where he admitted to the crime, including one that allegedly read, “I’ve got a cool story when I get back, I got him with my hunting knife.”
Eddie Gallagher, 39, spent nine months in prison, but was released on May 30, exactly two months after President Donald Trump interjected in the case and said the SEAL would be “moved to less restrictive confinement.”
Andrea Gallagher said she’s enjoyed having her husband home — as she maintains should have been the case all along.
“He’s confident. My husband has always maintained his innocence from the beginning; he has been confident,” she said. “He’s wanted to go to trial. We have waited so long for this opportunity.”
Gallagher was reportedly considered for a pardon by Trump in May, a request his wife said did not come at her request, saying she didn’t “really have too much thought on the pardon issue.”
“In regard to the pardon, no one was ever asking for a pardon,” she told GMA. “We were asking for fairness in this process and that’s what we have been crying out this whole time.”
She did leave the door open for more presidential intervention in the future, though.
“What we’re seeing right now is just playing out what we’ve always known, which is my husband will be vindicated at face value,” Andrea Gallagher said. “But we’re thankful for the president’s intervention and if something were to go south, but we’re not anticipating that.”
Gallagher’s charges was triggered by an interview conducted by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent Joseph Warpinski in April 2018 with a fellow soldier, Craig Miller, after he allegedly saw Gallagher stab the ISIS prisoner. He testified on Wednesday and repeated that claim, also admitting they posed for a photo with the body.
Andrea Gallagher lashed out at the prosecution and said they should be ashamed for arresting her husband — a decorated combat veteran who spent 19 years in the Navy — while he was being treated at Camp Pendleton on Sept. 11, 2018.
“The [Uniform Code of Military Justice] UCMJ is really struggling in this matter, and also the fact that the NCIS investigator lead agent, Joe Warpinski — we will really get a chance to deem all of the things he did as completely vile and corrupt,” Andrea Gallagher told ABC News. “We believe that this case never would have gotten to this point if a real investigation had been done. The fairness aspect is what we’d always been going for.”
“I say to you that this case, as unique as it seems, it’s not. It’s not the first time that this has been done to one of our war fighters,” Gallagher’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, said. “There are several prior cases that this has happened to. The difference here is two things. One, they arrested a Navy SEAL, which builds media attention just by the name recognition. And two, they arrested Andrea Gallagher’s husband. This is not something that anybody expected for a family to come out and shine the light the way they have.”
Gallagher had been transitioning to a role out of combat when he was arrested.
“The thought of Eddie in jail, unjustly,” his brother, Sean Gallagher, told GMA, trailing off. “There are two motivating factors in this: love and truth. We love our brother, we love our husband, we love our dad, we love our son. And then, the fear of this travesty of justice perpetuating beyond what it already has. It’s gone on for too long.”
In addition to the charge of murder, Gallagher is accused of firing on civilians in Iraq. Three government witnesses testified to that fact during the first week of trial.
“My husband stayed on target the whole time,” Andrea Gallagher said. “He is an aggressive operator. He is an aggressive leader. And I don’t think that he’s ever apologized for that.”
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