In the wake of President Trump’s recent grants of clemency in military cases, pardoned Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance appeared on Fox & Friends this morning. Video and a report are available on the Fox News website, here. Among other things, Lorance reacted to yestetrday’s tweet from former Vice President Joe Biden that said that the President’s pardon decision “betrays the rule of law, the values that make our country exceptional & the men and women who wear the uniform honorably.” Shortly before Biden’s tweet, the President tweeted that he would not have granted clemency to Private Manning, whose 35-year sentence was commuted by President Obama.

In other news, CNN reports here on the Supreme Court’s grant in Briggs, with the observation that “this will be the first time the justices consider a sexual assault issue in the #MeToo era, wading into a years-long controversy over how the military addresses sexual misconduct in its ranks as service branches continue to face scrutiny over their lack of progress countering the problem.”

Additionally, the San Diego Union Tribune reports here that a military judge ruled that the public, mass apprehension of 16 Marines accused of human smuggling was unlawful command influence. The Union Tribune previously reported on a video of the apprehension, observing that:

On the morning of July 25, as 800 Marines stood in formation at the Camp San Mateo area of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, 24 Marines’ names were called.

Fifteen were ordered to stand in a line in front of the battalion “to be recognized,” according to court filings in the case. The battalion sergeant major stood nearby, carrying a red folder that usually is associated with awards.

But these men weren’t awarded. The regiment sergeant major, Sgt. Major Matthew A. Dorsey pointed to the Marines in front and said, “NCIS, arrest these Marines.”

Three video clips of the incident are available here and also here. The Union Tribune reports that the military judge gave the prosecution “until next week to find a way to remedy what he said was actual and apparent unlawful command influence, or it could be devastating to their case.”

Finally, the Fayetteville Observer reports here on an interview with retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Kris Poppe, who was Major Hasan’s detailed military defense counsel.

6 Responses to “Military Justice News for November 18, 2019”

  1. Charles Dunlap says:

    I think the issue of the President’s actions are more nuanced than what we see in most of the press.  Perhaps you would like to take a scan here:
    With respect, Charlie

  2. rmchl says:

    Lt throwing it down: “anyone who puts stars are their collar… who has to be confirmed by Congress is no longer a soldier. They are a politician. They lose some of their values…” And then he told Biden “…say it to my face…”  Guess six years in the brig will do that a guy. 

  3. Former DC says:

    @Charles Dunlap:  Excellent article.  Hits all the critical points.  The key point here to remember is these are powers specifically granted to the President.
    I would note that, as I recall (its been a while), had Gallagher’s case been addressed at Art. 15, he could not have received the punishment of reduction.  It is my memory that the Navy does not allow reduction at NJP of an E-7 or above.  That means the punishment after clemency is roughly the same as it would have been at NJP – a career ender.

  4. jagaf says:

    “President Trump is somebody that sees something that’s wrong and fixes it and doesn’t care whose feelings it hurts,” Lorance said.
    Well, he got that half right anyway. Who knows; at the rate Lorance is stroking POTUS’s ego, he may end up getting a MoH and appointed Undersecretary of Defense for the dissolution of the Law of War before all is said and done. Or he’ll at least get to make some money as one of Fox’s “expert” military talking heads. #maga

  5. 777-300 says:

    First, Gallagher is an assbag, who should’ve been charged with Article 89, 91, and whatever else some enterprising trial counsel can devise for his public undermining of his superior officers and enlisted personnel, and the chain of command/military justice system by enlisting (ha! pun intended) Trump to intervene in his case.

    Second, I don’t see how Lorance is some “innocent party” when 9 members of his platoon all said he was wrong and violated RoE. ON TOP of the fact that his family has apparently shown their “TRUE COLORS” and reverted to their “heritage”: flying a massive Confederate battle flag at their family home. Lorance should be retroactively booted for being disloyal to the Constitution of the United States and showing loyalty and providing aid and comfort to the enemy.

    And Goldsteyn looks, for all intents and purposes, guilty, too. But, whatever. A plurality of the military still supports Trump, even as he burns down the military system to suit his own needs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Did Gallagher publically undermine superior officers and enlisted or did his CDC just make his case public without fear of having a chain of command possibly preventing that if it was military counsel? Either way, I’m sure that would’ve happened as soon as the original trial counsel is punished for blatantly violating his rights by putting nefarious tracking software in emails, then never telling the defense nor military judge. You don’t get to violate someone’s rights to enforce the law.