Richard Spencer: Secretary of the Navy ordered to resign after proposing back-room deal with Trump over disgraced SEAL Edward Gallagher
Trump backing commando convicted of bringing military into disrepute by posing for photograph with body of dead teenage Isis fighter
By: Ashley Parker , Dan Lamothe |
Defence Secretary Mark Esper asked for the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Sunday after losing confidence in him over his handling of the case of a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes in Iraq, the Pentagon said.
Spencer’s resignation came in the wake of the controversial case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was accused of war crimes on a 2017 deployment. He was acquitted of murder but convicted in July of posing with the corpse of a captive.
Esper asked for Spencer’s resignation after learning that he had privately proposed to White House officials that if they did not interfere with proceedings against Gallagher, then Spencer would ensure that Gallagher was able to retire as a Navy SEAL, with his Trident insignia.
Spencer’s private proposal to the White House – which he did not share with Esper over the course of several conversations about the matter – contradicted his public position on the Gallagher case, chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.