Navy Drops Case Against SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s Platoon Commander

The Navy has decided to drop all charges against Lt. Jacob Portier, the former platoon commander for Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was recently found not guilty of killing a wounded ISIS fighter in a high-profile case that exposed poor preparation and potentially unethical practices by Navy prosecutors in the case.

Portier was accused of failing to report Gallagher’s alleged war crimes up the chain of command. Gallagher was accused of stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death, as well as shooting at innocent civilians while on deployment to Iraq in 2017.

A small group of junior SEALs who had deployed with Gallagher made the allegations against Gallagher and Portier. However, during Gallagher’s trial, the prosecution’s star witness, another SEAL, admitted to killing the ISIS fighter, destroying the prosecution’s case. The defense said the prosecution had simply not asked the SEAL how the fighter died.

Even before that, the prosecution had suffered other problems — including being caught sending spy software to Gallagher and Portier’s defense attorneys and a journalist without a warrant. The lead prosecutor was dismissed just weeks before the trial over the spying.

Despite the prosecution’s missteps, the Navy awarded the prosecutors and their staff with Navy Achievement Medals at a ceremony where the Navy judge in Gallagher’s case and Portier’s case attended. President Trump on Wednesday ordered the Navy to rescind those awards.

On Thursday, the Navy announced it was dropping charges against Portier.

“Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson today dismissed all charges in the case of Lt. Jacob Portier,” said the statement.

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