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Fellow Navy SEALs call Edward Gallagher "toxic" and "evil"

Posted at 7:34 AM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 09:34:09-05

Never-before-seen confidential video reveals shocking details from the war crimes investigation of a decorated Navy SEAL. In interviews obtained by The New York Times'"The Weekly," members of SEAL Team 7 said they witnessed Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher stabbing a young ISIS fighter for no reason.

The SEALs call Gallagher "toxic," "evil" and a man who was "perfectly OK with killing anybody that was moving," reports CBS News correspondent David Martin.

"I think he just wants to kill anybody he can," one said.

The testimony paints a chilling pattern of violence executed by their platoon chief.

"Did Eddie say anything when he did this or did he just literally pull out a knife and just start stabbing him?" one SEAL was asked.

"He just pulled out a knife and started stabbing him," he replied.

The evidence includes bodycam footage in which Gallagher is seen over the limp ISIS fighter's body before the camera is switched off.

Asked in the interviews if he interpreted the fighter as a threat when Gallagher stabbed him, one of the SEALs said, "I did not, no."

One of the SEALs confirmed that he views what happened that day, as well as other incidents, as war crimes.

In July, Gallagher was found not guilty by a military jury for the stabbing. He was, however, demoted after the jury convicted him of posing for a photo with the ISIS fighter's corpse.

Corey Scott, whose testimony in court was crucial to Gallagher's acquittal, was also interviewed in the videos. Asked if the fighter did anything to Gallagher that would justify the chief's actions, Scott said, "No."

But on the stand and after being given full immunity, Scott took the fall for the stabbing.

"They tried to frame me as a criminal from the get-go," he said.

The Navy Board also considered stripping Gallagher of his status as a Navy SEAL. But, last month, President Trump intervened and restored Gallagher's rank.

"They wanted to take his pin away and I said, 'No, you're not going to take it away,'" he said at the time. "These are tough people, and we're going to protect our warfighters."

That move angered many in the Navy, including former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who was ousted after requesting the president not get involved in Gallagher's case.

"I don't think he really understands the full definition of a warfighter. A warfighter is a profession of arms, and a profession of arms has standards that they have to be held to and they hold themselves to," Spencer said.

Gallagher, who just this week met with Mr. Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort, has repeatedly expressed his gratitude.

"I don't know how many times I've thanked the president. He keeps stepping in and doing the right thing," he said.

An attorney for Gallagher told CBS News, "The jury heard all the evidence, the prosecution's and the defense's, and acquitted Eddie of every single serious charge. Enough said."