With Memorial Day less than a week away, mounting rumors flow out of the White House that President Trump plans to use the holiday to pardon U.S. service members accused of war crimes.
But the prospective pardons have grown so controversial since the New York Times reported them over the weekend that White House sources are now privately telling reporters that the President may not issue them after all.
On Monday evening, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R.-TX, a much-decorated U.S. Navy veteran in the Afghanistan war (where he lost an eye from an IED strike) and a Trump supporter, broke with the President on the prospective pardon. He was joined in his opposition by Gen. Martin Dempsey (retired), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The cases should be decided by the courts,” Crenshaw told reporters, “Only after that should a pardon be considered.”
Crenshaw served as a Navy SEAL from 2006 to 2016, during which time he was awarded two Bronze Stars (one with valor), the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor.
Dempsey tweeted on Tuesday that “[a]bsent evidence of innocence or injustice the wholesale pardon of US servicemembers accused of war crimes signals our troops and allies that we don’t take the Law of Armed Conflict seriously. Bad message. Bad precedent. Abdication of moral responsibility. Risk to us. #Leadership.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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