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President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he had ordered top U.S. Navy officials to rescind the achievement medals awarded to military prosecutors involved in case against Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was found not guilty of murder and another serious crime earlier this month.
Trump's announcement on Twitter came a day after the military-oriented web site Task & Purpose revealed that the four Navy attorneys and four members of their legal support staff were given Navy Achievement Medals in a July 10 ceremony.
Trump said those awards were "ridiculously given."
Task & Purpose, in its article Tuesday, reported that members of the prosecution were awarded the medals, just eight days after Gallagher's acquittals for "superb results," "expert litigation" and "exceptional witness preparation."
One of the prosecutors, Brian John, was was praised in his award for "brilliant legal acumen" and performance despite an "unforseen personnel change" that led him to become the top prosecutor in the case.
John became lead prosecutor in June after the judge in the case removed the former lead prosecutor, Commander Christopher Czaplak after learning Czaplak had electronically tracked the email communications of Gallagher's lawyers without obtaining a warrant.
Gallagher, 40, was acquitted of murder in the killing of a teenage ISIS fighter who was taken prisoner in 2017 in Iraq.
Trump had helped Gallagher to receive a transfer before his trial from a military brig to less restrictive barracks.
While he was acquitted of the murder charge, along with other charges of attempted murder of two noncombatants, Gallagher was convicted of wrongful posing for an unofficial picture with a human casualty.
While that latter charge has a maximum penalty of four months of incarceration, Gallagher had spent more than twice that amount of time locked up before his trial.