U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he is considering pardons for “two or three” U.S. soldiers charged with war crimes, a move he said would be controversial but justified because he said they had been treated “unfairly.”
Trump told reporters at the White House that he has not decided yet on the cases, and said he may wait until after the men accused of the war crimes go through trials before determining whether to pardon them.
“Some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard, long. You know, we teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight sometime, they get really treated very unfairly,” Trump said.
He did not identify the cases he was reviewing.
The New York Times reported on May 18 that Trump had asked for paperwork on the possible pardons to be prepared ahead of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, which falls on Monday.
One of the cases was believed to be Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a decorated Navy SEAL charged with war crimes in Iraq. His trial was delayed this week.
Gallagher has pleaded not guilty.
His lawyer told Reuters he had not asked for a pardon and Gallagher declined to comment on the prospect of a pardon when asked by reporters in court.