A U.S. Marine who was tasked with protecting the Hamid Karzai International Airport amid President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan is reportedly under investigation for appearing at a rally earlier this month with former President Donald Trump.
Capt. Kelton J Cochran, a spokesman for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), confirmed to Task & Purpose that Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark is under investigation for his appearance at a “Save America Rally” in Perry, Georgia, on September 25.
“The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) has initiated a command investigation regarding LCpl Hunter Clark’s attendance at the event last weekend to determine if any DoD policies were violated,” Cochran said. “Any details pertaining to this incident are not releasable while the investigation is being conducted.”
According to Task & Purpose, the spokesman “did not specify what policies that Clark may have violated, but the Defense Department does not allow active-duty troops to ‘speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.’”
Trump introduced Clark at the event as “one of the Marines who bravely served in Kabul during the withdrawal and helped evacuate children over the airport and over the airport wall.” The former president also reportedly reserved “13 empty seats of honor” for the 13 U.S. troops killed on August 26.
“You saw him, he did a great job, Lance Cpl. Hunter Ian Clark. Lance corporal, get up here!” Trump introduced Clark.
Task & Purpose noted that the rally was a “political event” but added that “Clark was not in uniform when he appeared with Trump. Nor did he campaign for a political candidate or suggest that service members follow a political party.”
“Trump ostensibly invited Clark on stage as part of a public show of support for U.S. troops,” the report added.
Following the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was relieved from his duties for openly criticizing the Biden administration. U.S. Military has since thrown Scheller into the brig.
Earlier this month, Scheller predicted his imprisonment:
“The Marine Corps will assign an investigating officer. Most likely a Colonel,” Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller said in the update, according to The Washington Examiner. “Once the investigating officer finalizes his recommendation, the Marine Corps will decide if they should pursue court-martial.”
If it goes to court-martial, Scheller added, “I will be found guilty and will probably do some jail time. This will provide me a valuable opportunity to read, write, and contemplate.”
As reported by The Daily Wire, Scheller posted a four minute and 45-second video to Facebook demanding accountability from the Biden administration and ripping into military leadership over the deadly explosion at Hamid Karzai International Airport that left 13 U.S. service members dead. He also questioned top military leadership’s call in removing troops from Bagram Airbase.
“People are upset because their senior leaders let them down, and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up,’” Scheller said in the video. “I’m not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying: Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone’? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hands and say, ‘We completely messed this up’?”
“Potentially all those people did die in vain if we don’t have senior leaders that own up and raise their hand and say, ‘We did not do this well, in the end,’” he continued. “Without that, we just keep repeating the same mistakes. I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability.”