On CNN Monday, retired Rear Adm. John Kirby laid into President Donald Trump for firing Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to shut down the investigation into pardoned war criminal Eddie Gallagher, who was convicted of posing with the corpse of a teenage prisoner he had allegedly stabbed to death with his hunting knife.
“I’ve spoken to Navy officers who said they this happens all the time for far lesser issues,” said anchor Jim Sciutto. “One brought up the case of someone lying on a test. How concerning is it that the Navy wasn’t even allowed the discretion to make a decision on that relatively small disciplinary step?”
“Very deeply concerning, Jim,” said Kirby. “Again, we’re talking about an administrative review process. The Navy SEALs do this all the time, and people get their trident pins revoked for much less than what Gallagher has not only been alleged to have done, but actually convicted of doing, and here’s the other thing, Jim, there are three other SEALs that are going through this same review process on their trident pins as Gallagher was, those three other SEALs that were in the same photos. Now what does the Navy do about those guys? They don’t have high-paid lawyers. They don’t have the president or commander in chief weighing in on their behalf. But if they’re going to exonerate Gallagher for this same offense and let him retire with his trident pin, what do they do about those other three? And then, more, writ large, what message does this send to the SEAL community?”
“I want to get to that question, because this speaks to a broad range of behaviors here,” said Sciutto. “Again, I’ve spoken to military commanders and others who worry because they take the law seriously, right. They want soldiers on the battlefield, it is difficult, but follow the law. This goes to chain of command and discipline and goes to how U.S. allies see U.S. forces deployed abroad. You’ve dealt with these issues for years. Describe to people how, you know, the sort of odd fact that Gallagher stays and Spencer is gone now, how does the rank and file read that?”
“I think there’s some worrisome conclusions that some in the rank and file might take away from this, that if you have a high paid lawyer, if the commander in chief is on your side, you can flout discipline,” said Kirby. “Yesterday, Gallagher was on Fox & Friends disparaging Rear Adm. Green, the commander of the SEAL forces. That was an incredible moment. There’s going to be real concern by commanders across the force about what this says for their ability to execute good order and discipline inside their ranks. Also, you brought it up just briefly in what you said, Jim, there’s a message here to allies and partners, if we exonerate this kind of behavior, if we’re able to whistle past that graveyard, how can they trust when they have American boots on their ground conducting operations in their countries, that we have the ability and the forthrightness to hold our troops accountable for what is, essentially, war crimes.”
“I remember the deep concern after the Abu Ghraib scandal,” said Sciutto. “This is about how U.S. forces operate on the battlefield, and part of the soft power, of course, is that U.S. forces follow the law where others may not.”
“Follow the law, and stand for values that are greater than just ourselves,” agreed Kirby.
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Mark Your Calendar: Schumer Releases Trump Impeachment Schedule
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has just released the schedule for the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
The Article of Impeachment will be transmitted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday. That week will focus on the administrative elements of the trial.
The following week, starting February 8, the actual impeachment trial will begin.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had requested a two-week delay, but Schumer and Pelosi did not grant his wish.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb posted the document:
Here’s the impeachment trial schedule — the action will get underway on February 9 pic.twitter.com/JD0swRX8Lq
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) January 22, 2021
This is a breaking news and developing story.
‘Seditious Conspiracy’: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Other GOPers Over Capitol Coup
An ethics complaint has been filed against three Republican members of Congress over their participation in events that led to the violent and deadly January 6 attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol.
Reps. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, and Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona are accused of “a seditious conspiracy to use force to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional and statutory duties to count the votes of the Electoral College,” by the Campaign for Accountability, a government ethics watchdog founded by two former members of CREW.
If the House Ethics Office finds any or all of the three Republicans violated federal law, the group is asking for them to be expelled.
Cawthorn spoke at President Trump’s January 6 rally (photo), barely hours before the armed insurrection.
“This crowd has some fight in it,” Cawthorn told Trump’s MAGA supporters. “The Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice. Make no mistake about it, they do not want you to be heard.”
North Carolina’s WLOS reports that “despite his tweets urging ‘millions of patriotic Americans stand for their country,’ Cawthorn said he felt no culpability in what unfolded” the day of the attempted coup.
“I don’t feel I had any responsibility for them attacking the Capitol,” Cawthorn said.
Two days before the domestic terror attack he posted this:
January 6th is fast approaching, the future of this Republic hinges on the actions of a solitary few.
Get ready, the fate of a nation rests on our shoulders, yours and mine. Let’s show Washington that our backbones are made of steel and titanium.
It’s time to fight.
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) January 4, 2021
Gosar and Biggs also bear significant responsibility, according to the lead organizer.
“Far-right activist Ali Alexander, who helped rally Trump’s supporters ahead of Congress’ electoral count, has claimed he planned a rally that preceded the riot with the support of Gosar and Biggs,” The Hill reports, citing an article in The Washington Post.
Pelosi to Transmit Impeachment Article to Senate Monday – Triggering Trial of Trump to Start Next Week
Speaker Nancy Pelosi will transmit the House’s Article of Impeachment against Donald Trump for the incitement of the January 6 insurrection to the Senate on Monday. Once the Senate has received the Article it is constitutionally bound to take it up immediately.
On Thursday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his conference would be comfortable with waiting two weeks before beginning the trial of the former president, Donald J. Trump. Speaker Pelosi’s answer to McConnell, in action if not words, was no.
Axios adds that the “Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted.”
Those “ceremonial aspects” of the trial would begin Tuesday, CNN’s Manu Raju reports. “The train is in motion,” he says.
NEWS: Schumer says @SpeakerPelosi has told him the article of impeachment against Trump will be delivered to the Senate on Monday, triggering the start of a trial.
— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) January 22, 2021
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