President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Sunday morning that he would be reviewing the case of a former special forces officer and Afghanistan war veteran who is facing a murder charge. He said the review is being done “at the request of many.”
The Washington Post reported that the Army notified former Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn Thursday that he will face one murder charge. He is accused of killing a suspected Taliban bomb maker without permission in 2010, while in Afghanistan. The military has been investigating him since 2011, when officials said he confessed to the killing during a polygraph test that was part of a CIA job interview. Phillip Stackhouse, Golsteyn’s attorney, disputed the characterization of his client’s comments during the interview.
“At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Military hero,’ Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder,” Trump tweeted. “He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas.”
Golsteyn told Fox News in 2016 he killed the suspected bomb maker.
“There’s limits on how long you can hold guys,” he said at the time. “You realize quickly that you make things worse. It is an inevitable outcome that people who are cooperating with coalition forces, when identified, will suffer some terrible torture or be killed.”
That interview led the investigation to be reopened after a series of on-and-off investigations, Fox News reported. It had previously been dropped in 2014.
The Washington Post reported that Trump’s tweeted statement could impact Golsteyn’s military prosecution. It is expected that the commander chief does not make statements that would influence an open case.