Army denies Special Forces title to soldier pardoned by Trump

WaPo: Army Gen. Denies Special Forces Tab For Accused War Criminal Trump Pardoned

The retired Army officer charged with murder and pardoned by President Donald Trump in November has been denied by the Army Special Operations commander to have his status as a member of Army Special Forces reinstated.

Lt. Gen. Francis Beaudette, the commander of the United States Army Special Operations Command, made the decision to deny Golsteyn's request on December 3, but only informed Golsteyn on Thursday, Stackhouse said. Beaudette's decision is not final, and the service said in a statement that it will next have an administrative panel consider whether it should reinstate the Special Forces tab and a Distinguished Service Cross - the US military's second-highest valor award - and expunge a letter of reprimand Golsteyn received in connection with his case.

Retired Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn received clemency from Trump in November as he faced trial for the murder of an Afghan man while deployed in Marja, Afghanistan, in 2010. The officer had claimed he had merely set up an ambush that followed military law.

While the murder allegedly occurred in 2010, authorities did not learn about it until years later when Golsteyn admitted it during a polygraph test while applying for a job as a Central Intelligence Agency analyst. The Military charged him with homicide in 2018. That came alongside two more interventions from Trump - one on behalf of the Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who was accused of stabbing to a death a teenage ISIS captive but ultimately only convicted of posing with the captive's corpse, and the other for Clint Lorance, an Army lieutenant found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder in 2013. Matthew Golsteyn restore his Special Forces, but the service's decision is not final, Army officials said Thursday.

"I was really hoping they would do the right thing", he said.

"On Dec. 3, 2019, following a thorough review, the Commander of the Army Special Operations Command denied Golsteyn's request for reinstatement of the Special Forces Tab", an Army spokesperson said in a statement Thursday. Now he will forward the documentation he has on the matter to the White House counsel's office for Trump's attention. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer refused to comply and was forced to resign over the issue. However, Golsteyn's attorney has previously disputed how the admission was characterized by Army officials.

The oversight board, which is made up of Army civilians, will also consider Golsteyn's request to expunge a letter of reprimand issued in 2014 from his personnel record, the Army spokesperson added.

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