OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s attorney general is renewing his request that President Trump pardon for a former U.S. solider from Oklahoma convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner.
Attorney General Mike Hunter supports a pardon for former Army Lt. Michael Behenna, first requesting one in February 2018.
Behenna was convicted in 2009 of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone after killing a suspected al-Qaida terrorist. He was paroled in 2014 and remains on parole until 2024.
The case of Former Machinist's Mate 1st Class Kristian Saucier had become entangled with the 2016 presidential campaign and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's own mishandling of classified information.
In letters dated Monday to Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Hunter says Department of Justice regulations that prohibit anyone on parole from applying for a pardon "unduly restrict" the president's constitutional power to grant pardons.
Hunter has said he believes Behenna’s conviction was unjustified because of erroneous jury instructions and the failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence supporting a self-defense claim.
Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher will be arraigned Friday at Naval Base San Diego on a long list of criminal charges, including the premeditated murder of a wounded Islamic State prisoner of war.