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Legal Team for Accused War Criminal Just Happens to Include a Trump Lawyer


The New York Times recently reported that President Donald Trump is considering issuing pardons to several servicemen accused of war crimes. Now it appears that at least one of those servicemen hired an attorney that represents Trump himself.

Former special operations chief Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher is set for trial on May 28; he’s charged with shooting civilians, including a school-age girl, and knifing to death a captured ISIS fighter receiving medical treatment in Iraq in 2017. Gallagher was ultimately reported by his own platoon, and faces 12 counts including murder, attempted murder, and obstruction of justice for allegedly attempting to intimidate troops reporting his crimes. He faces life in prison for his crimes.

Gallagher, though, appears to have a direct line to the president. Marc Mukasey, an attorney with the Trump Administration who recently made headlines for his help with Donald Trump’s Deutsche Bank-related interests, also represents Gallagher.

Mukasey is Rudy Giuliani’s former law partner, and the son of President George W. Bush’s attorney general, Michael Mukasey.

Mukasey dismissed questions about any conflict of interest in  representing both Trump (who is the country’s chief law enforcement officer and has the power to pardon Gallagher) and Gallagher (currently being prosecuted by the federal government). “I’m a trial lawyer,” Mukasey told Task & Purpose in a phone interview. “I represent the president in court and I represent Eddie Gallagher in court.”

Despite reports that President Trump is considering pardoning Gallagher on Memorial Day, Mukasey denied negotiating terms with the president.

“If a pardon dropped down from heaven, obviously we would consider that,” Mukasey said, but insisted, “If there’s somebody pushing things in back channels, it’s not me.”

Other members of the Gallagher legal team include former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik and Tim Parlatore, an attorney who represented Fox News’s Pete Hegseth (who has been privately lobbying Trump since January to pardon Gallagher).

[Image via JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images]

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Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos