President Trump on Sunday vowed to review the case of a former Army Green Beret who has been charged with the killing a man in Afghanistan whom he suspected was a Taliban bombmaker.
Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn was charged with murder on Thursday, long after he acknowledged the killing in a 2016 Fox News interview.
“Major Matthew Golsteyn’s immediate commander has determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him,” said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command. “Major Golsteyn has been charged with the murder of an Afghan male during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan,” he said.
Philip Stackhouse, Golsteyn’s lawyer, wrote on Twitter the former soldier has been charged with “premeditated murder, a death penalty offense for allegedly killing a Taliban bomb-maker during combat operations in Marjah, Afghanistan.”
Trump said that many have requested he look into the case, which he pledged to do.
“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. He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The murder charge was brought in the unusual case seven years after Golsteyn disclosed the killing during a CIA polygraph test,” NBC News reported. “Golsteyn was applying for a job with the spy agency when he admitted to fatally shooting the man who he said was a suspected Taliban bomb maker, military officials said.”
In April 2014, Golsteyn received an official reprimand for his actions, but no formal charges were filed at the time due to a lack of physical evidence, military officials said. Army Secretary John McHugh revoked Golsteyn’s Silver Star, the third highest award for valor in the military, and took away his Special Forces tab, a patch awarded to soldiers after completing one of the elite Special Forces schools.
Two years later, Golsteyn appeared on a FOX News Special Report entitled, “How We Fight,” where he admitted to killing the suspected bomb maker.
Golsteyn told anchor Brett Baier he was concerned that if he released the suspected Taliban member, the man would target Afghans who were providing information to U.S. soldiers.
Baier asked Golsteyn if he’d killed the man. “Yes,” Golsteyn replied.