September 20, 2021

Trump says White House reviewing case of Green Beret charged with Afghan murder | TheHill

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutors investigating Giuliani: report House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and top Republican to introduce sanctions bill against Turkey Trump lashes out at 2020 Dems, impeachment inquiry MORE said Saturday that the White House was reviewing the case of a Green Beret who has been charged with murder in the death of an alleged Afghan bomb-maker.

“The case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House,” Trump tweeted. “Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker.”

“We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!” he added.  

The case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House. Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker. We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill! @PeteHegseth

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2019 

Trump’s tweet came shortly after the case was highlighted during a segment on “Fox & Friends Weekend” that featured the Green Beret’s mother, Nancy Golsteyn, and Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Impeachment fight poses risks to both Trump, Dems Darrell Issa to challenge Duncan Hunter for House seat in 2020 Issa’s Senate confirmation hearing delayed over concerns about background check MORE (R-Calif.), who has advocated for military personnel who have been accused of crimes.

“He did what our government asked him to do, to keep us safe,” co-host Pete Hegseth, who was tagged in Trump’s tweet, said of Mathew Golsteyn during the segment.

A U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) spokesperson told the Army Times in a statement on Friday that the military “does not litigate cases in the media.”

“USASOC will present the facts concerning this court martial, as with every court-martial, in a courtroom,” the spokesperson said. “Trials involve a number of procedural requirements, and USASOC will continue to comply with all rules of evidence and procedure, as well as all applicable law and regulation. Maj. Golsteyn continues to have access to legal counsel just as every other soldier, and continues to be presumed innocent.”

Golsteyn has been accused of telling CIA officials during a job interview that he killed the suspected bomb-maker and that he and two others put the body in a burn pit on their base, according to Army Times.

Golsteyn has reportedly denied this characterization of the interview and told Army Times it was misconstrued. 

Army Times reported that Golsteyn does not deny killing the man but has said it was justified under the law of armed conflict.

He told the news outlet that the man was identified as a Taliban bomb-maker by a local village elder who feared for his life if the alleged bomb-maker retaliated. 

Golsteyn was given the Silver Star medal for valor, but the award was rescinded after the accusations. 

Trump said in May that he had not decided whether to pardon military service members who have been charged with war crimes, including Golsteyn.

A trial date for Golsteyn’s case has been set for Dec. 2.

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Rachel Frazin
The Hill

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