A friend o’ CAAFlog has alerted us that Rep. Kay Granger (R-Tex.) has introduced H.R. 5374, a bill obviously designed to reimburse the recently acquitted Navy SEALs for the cost of their civilian counsel, though the bill would reach beyond those three cases.
The bill would amend Article 27 by adding the following new subsection (d):
(d)(1) Nothing in this section (article) prohibits an accused from retaining private counsel to serve as defense counsel before a general court-martial or special court-martial.
(2)(A) If the accused retains private counsel to represent the accused in a case described in subparagraph (B) and all of the charges against the accused are dismissed or withdrawn or the accused is acquitted on all charges (or some combination of dismissed or withdrawn charges and acquittal), the Secretary concerned shall reimburse the accused for all attorney fees incurred by the accused in the case.
(B) Subparagraph (A) applies with respect to a case against a person subject to this chapter who is accused of any offense in violation of this chapter under circumstances involving the treatment of an insurgent, enemy combatant, detainee, or a suspected or known terrorist.
(C) The Secretary concerned shall provide reimbursement required under this paragraph using funds otherwise available to the Secretary to carry out this chapter.
The bill would apply retroactively to any applicable cases in which charges were “brought under the Uniform Code of Military Justice after September 11, 2001.”
There doesn’t appear to be any cap on attorneys’ fees under the bill.
The bill currently has 30 co-sponsors, all of them Republicans.