Army Won't Restore Special Forces Designation Of Soldier Pardoned By Trump

Matt Golsteyn, 38, is a former special forces officer that is now being investigated for war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army has denied the appeal of a former Green Beret to have his Special Forces designation reinstated. Maj. Matt Golsteyn was facing charges that he murdered an Afghan man while deployed in the country in 2010 before he was granted clemency by President Donald Trump last year.

While the murder allegedly occurred in 2010, authorities did not learn about it until years later when Golsteyn admitted it during a polygraph test while applying for a job as a CIA analyst. Golsteyn claims that he killed the man, who was allegedly a bombmaker for the Taliban, in a legal ambush.

After the officials learned of Golsteyn's confession, they launched an investigation into the killing. As a result of the accusations, he was stripped of his Special Forces Tab. He was awaiting trial when President Trump stepped in and granted him clemency. After the president pardoned him, Golsteyn filed an appeal and requested the reinstatement of his Special Forces Tab.

After reviewing his case, Lt. Gen. Francis Beaudette, the commander of the Army Special Operations Command, denied his appeal.

The decision could spark another showdown between the White House and the Pentagon. After President Trump pardoned Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, military officials moved to strip him of his Trident pin, which signifies his membership in the elite unit. Trump stepped in and ordered the Navy to cease in their efforts to take away his Trident pin. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer refused to comply and was forced to resign over the issue.

Photo: Getty Images

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