Top Navy officials are threatening to quit if Trump blocks plans to expel Navy SEAL

US Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher and wife Andrea leave court after his acquitted of most of the serious charges against him, in San Diego, July 2, 2019. Reuters

The threats by Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer and Rear Adm. Collin Green are the latest instance of military officials reportedly pushing back against Trump’s interventions in the military justice system.

The turmoil in this case centers on Navy Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was accused of shooting civilians, murdering a captured teenage ISIS fighter in Iraq, and threatening to kill SEALs who reported him, among other things.

This month, Gallagher was one of three military service members accused or convicted of war crimes who Trump cleared, overruling military leaders who sought to punish them. For Gallagher, the move reversed his demotion.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Trump that blocking the removal of Gallagher’s trident would have severe consequences, including the loss of Spencer and Green and damage to military justice doctrine, administration officials told The Times.

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