California Congressman Says He's Taken Photo With Dead Enemy - NECN
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California Congressman Says He's Taken Photo With Dead Enemy

The Republican congressman and Marine made the comments during a town hall Saturday.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rep. Duncan Hunter Tells SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher's Story

    San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-50) details the incident involving Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher, who is accused of posing for a picture with a dead ISIS fighter. (Published Monday, May 27, 2019)

    U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California acknowledged taking a photo with a dead combatant during his time as a Marine as he defended a Navy SEAL charged with multiple war crimes, including killing a teenage fighter.

    The Republican congressman, who was re-elected last November as he faces corruption charges, made the comments during a town hall Saturday in his San Diego-area district.

    Hunter has advocated for a pardon for Edward Gallagher, who’s charged with stabbing to death a teenage Islamic State fighter under his care in Iraq in 2017 and then holding his reenlistment ceremony with the body.

    Prosecutors said the Navy SEAL chief texted a photograph of himself next to the dead fighter and wrote he “got him with my hunting knife.” He’s also accused of shooting two civilians in Iraq and opening fire on crowds.

    Hunter said he also posed for a photo next to a dead combatant but said he did not text it or post it to social media. The congressman said “a lot of us have done the exact same thing,” referring to fellow service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Hunter called the military justice system “corrupt,” saying it is run by lawyers and bureaucrats intent on pursuing “war fighters.” His offices didn’t return calls and emails seeking comment Monday.

    Gallagher’s lawyers have said he did not murder anyone and that disgruntled SEALs made the accusations because they wanted to get rid of a demanding platoon leader.

    Dozens of Republican congressmen say Gallagher an innocent war hero being unfairly prosecuted. President Donald Trump got him moved from the brig to better confinement in a military hospital with access to his lawyers and family.

    Trump says he is considering pardons for several American military members accused of war crimes.

    Gallagher’s court-martial is set to begin this week at Naval Base San Diego. Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    [NATL] Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)

    At the town hall, Hunter declined to comment on his own pending court case.

    Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted in 2017 on federal charges of illegally converting more than $250,000 in campaign contributions for personal living expenses. Both have pleaded not guilty and have their next court hearing scheduled for July 29. Trial is set for later this year.