The US Army has reportedly denied a request to return medals of valor to a retired main accused of homicide in Afghanistan who was pardoned by former President Donald Trump.
Retired Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who was pardoned in November 2019, was denied his December 2019 request to an Army assessment board to restore his Distinguished Service Cross, USA Today reported, citing paperwork obtained by the newspaper.
Golsteyn was initially awarded a Silver Star for heroism, however it was upgraded following a assessment, USA Today reported.
The Army additionally rejected his request to restore his Special Forces tab that distinguished him as a member of an elite unit. The choice was made in June, however wasn’t introduced by Army officers forward of Trump’s remaining months within the White House, in accordance to the report.
Golsteyn was charged with homicide in late 2018 for capturing after which burying a suspected Taliban bomb-maker in Afghanistan throughout a deployment eight years earlier. He was awaiting trial when Trump pardoned him in November 2019.
Trump intervened within the case after tweeting that he was reviewing the case of the “highly decorated” Green Beret.
“We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!” Trump tweeted.
The Army assessment board denied all of Golsteyn’s requests, together with to take away the letter of reprimand in his personnel file in reference to the case, citing a Department of Justice letter indicating that the pardon didn’t clear his file, in accordance to the report.
The “Presidential pardon is a sign of forgiveness and ‘does not indicate innocence,” the Army assessment board wrote whereas a 2011 letter from the CIA to the Pentagon acknowledging that Golsteyn admitted to killing the unarmed Afghan man.
An Army spokesman confirmed the denial by the board, however stated privateness legal guidelines prevented him from elaborating.
Golsteyn, in the meantime, denounced the choice in an announcement supplied by his legal professional, criticizing the Army for not making good on Trump’s pledge throughout a November 2019 cellphone name to expunge his file and clear him of wrongdoing, USA Today reported.
“Clearly, we have seen military departments obey the direction of the commander in chief in other cases and, inexplicably, the Army defied the president,” Golsteyn stated.
“It should be a surprise the findings of the Army Board were released in November 2020 and not mailed to me for 2 more months, after President Trump left office, so my case could languish in the quagmire of presidential transition.”
Golsteyn’s legal professional stated the board’s choice was “silly,” including that Trump’s pledge to clear his file entitles him to his medals and Special Forces designation.
Golsteyn hasn’t determined whether or not to enchantment the choice in federal court docket, however President Joe Biden ought to honor Trump’s prior dedication, legal professional Phillip Stackhouse informed USA Today.