Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, intervened late Thursday and dismissed all charges against Navy SEAL Lt. Jacob X. Portier, who was set to face trial next month over charges of failing to report the alleged war crimes of fellow SEAL Eddie Gallagher. In July, Gallagher was acquitted of murdering an ISIS fighter in Iraq, but found guilty of posing with his corpse. Portier had been charged with dereliction of duty for failing to supervise Gallagher, as well as failure to report war crimes and with obstruction of justice for destroying evidence. He pleaded not guilty and was set to be in court Friday before the charges were dropped. “Richardson took this action in the best interest of justice and the Navy,” a Navy statement said of the dropped charges.
The San Diego Union-Tribune also reports Richardson stripped Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar of her authority over the Gallagher case, citing military officials not authorized to speak about the situation, and ordered a complete review of the Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corps, which is the military branch’s judicial system. “Recent events indicate a need to review the leadership and performance of the [JAG] Corps,” Richardson wrote in a memo.