"Evil," "psychopath" and "toxic." That's how some members of Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7 described their platoon leader to investigators in never-before-seen interviews published by The New York Times. The interviews are part of the U.S. military's investigation into Edward Gallagher's conduct.
Special Operations Chief Gallagher, who is now retired, was charged with multiple war crimes, including the killing of a 17-year-old ISIS prisoner. He was acquitted on all charges except for one. In July, Gallagher was convicted of posing for pictures with the ISIS prisoner's body while he was in Iraq in 2017.
"The guy got crazier and crazier."
"You could tell he was perfectly OK with killing anybody that was moving."
In a statement, Gallagher said: "My first reaction to seeing the videos was surprise and disgust that they would make up blatant lies about me, but I quickly realized that they were scared that the truth would come out of how cowardly they acted on deployment."
Gallagher's lawyer told The San Diego Union-Tribune the videos "demonstrate all of the failings of the investigation" and gave him "a road map to acquittal."
Gallagher was demoted in rank and received reduced pay after a jury found him guilty of posing for a photo with the prisoner's body, but President Donald Trump reversed those moves against the Pentagon's wishes.
The Defense Department had recommended that the president stay out of the case because his intervention could undermine the military's judicial process. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was forced to resign over how he handled the Gallagher case.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.