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Maj. Matthew Golsteyn's family reacts to word of potential Trump action, fearing Afghanistan trip

05 Nov 2019 Fox News

Family members of a decorated Army Green Beret who is charged with premeditated murder in the 2010 death of a suspected Taliban bomb maker are speaking out after an announcement that President Trump is expected to take "imminent" action in his case. The development came as Maj. Matt Golsteyn was preparing to travel to Afghanistan to confront his alleged accusers, a bizarre twist in the case following a motion by the prosecution last month, according to his family.

Fox News' Pete Hegseth said Monday on "Fox & Friends" that he spoke to the president over the weekend, and that Trump will meet with Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to discuss the cases of three former military service members, including Golsteyn. The president is expected to make an announcement before Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Hegseth said.

Julie Golsteyn told Fox News the family is "thankful for a commander-in-chief who rises above politics and truly supports the war fighter."

"I am so very grateful that the commander-in-chief has decided to act to end this nightmare for Matt and our family," she said Tuesday. "We are looking forward to healing and finally moving on with our lives."

Julie and Matt Golsteyn with their son, Henry, in February. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Matt Golsteyn's trial was expected to begin this month. But the prosecution recently motioned for a trip to Afghanistan to depose two Afghans whom it claims are witnesses in the case, only recently discovered this year, according to Julie Golsteyn.

"If Matt wants to confront his accusers, he has to go to Afghanistan -- a combat zone," she said.

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"His attorneys are going, and as of now he's going," Julie told Fox News in October. "We're putting the constitutional rights of a special forces officer behind the request of a so-called [Taliban] family member's request."

The Army Criminal Investigative Command (CID) in Quantico, Va., told Fox News that "due to the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to provide any comment at this time."

CID did not respond to Fox News' inquiry regarding a potential trip to Afghanistan.

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This is the second time the Army has investigated the 2010 case involving Matt Golsteyn. An initial probe didn't find sufficient evidence to bring charges. A second investigation was opened in 2016 and Golsteyn was charged in December 2018. He could face life in prison if convicted.

His wife has repeatedly called the case against her husband a "complete set-up," a "farce" and a "kangaroo court."

The "bad actors" actively working against her husband are "truly evil people," Julie Golsteyn said. "I don't know how these people look in the mirror and sleep at night."

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Hegseth said Monday that Trump is also considering the cases of Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who is serving a 20-year sentence for ordering his soldiers to shoot two suspected Taliban scouts in Afghanistan in 2012, and Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was found not guilty of murdering an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter in Iraq in 2017 but was convicted in July of a lesser charge of posing for a photo with the dead ISIS prisoner's corpse.

Gallagher's punishment included a reduction in rank from chief petty officer to 1st class petty officer, which is slated to cost him about $200,000 in retirement funds. His family and defense team are fighting to have his pay grade restored.

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Trump has "a lot of latitude under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to dismiss a case or change a sentence," Hegseth said Monday.

"From what I understand, that is likely what will happen here shortly," he said.

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Trump tweeted on Oct. 12 that he was reviewing Golsteyn's case.

"Matthew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bomb maker," the president wrote. "We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!

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The president's tweet gave them hope, Julie Golsteyn said, adding; "I don't know how much more ridiculous it can get. Matt was cleared and then their story changed. It is so rigged."

Original Link: https://www.foxnews.com/us/green-beret-matt-golsteyn-donald-trump-afghanistan

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