Trump May Pardon US Troops Accused or Convicted of War Crimes

Pardons expected on or around Memorial Day

While the Pentagon rarely goes to the lengths of pursuing war crimes charges against American troops, the sheer number of US wars at any given time mean there will inevitably be some. Officials say President Trump is preparing to pardon some of them.

President Trump has made expedited requests for the paperwork to pardon troops, and indications are the pardons will be coming on or around Memorial Day. Apparently the pardons are meant to be seen as a pro-military measure for the holiday.

Officials have not seen a complete list of the pardons to come, but  suggested Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who is set to stand trial for shooting unarmed civilians and killing an enemy captive, was going to be pardoned before the trial can even start.

Others in the mix are Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, who was accused of killing an armed Afghan in 2010, and the group of Marine Corps snipers who were charged with urinating on the corpses of killed fighters.

These are cases treated as controversial among some Republicans, who believe the troops were punished for “doing their jobs.” Pardoning them en masse, however, will risk military discipline, since there’s even less reason for troops to follow the rules if they figure they’ll get pardoned after the fact.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of