On December 17, Fox & Friends hosted Rep.-elect and former Green Beret Michael Waltz (R-FL) to comment on the murder charge against former Green Beret Mathew Golsteyn. Waltz encouraged President Donald Trump, who first tweeted about the case on Sunday after Fox aired a segment about it, to pardon Golsteyn if he is convicted.
Hours after Maj. Matt Golsteyn's lawyer appeared on Fox to discuss his client's murder charge, the president says he's “reviewing the case,” quotes Fox chyron, tags host Pete Hegseth.
Left, Fox & Friends, 7:26 am
Right, Trump, 10:03 am pic.twitter.com/qLYslMbge7
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) December 16, 2018
Fox & Friends also hosted Golsteyn’s father later in the show to talk about the case. In 2011, the army began investigating Golsteyn after he confessed, during a job interview with the CIA, that he killed a suspected Taliban bomb maker. The 2011 investigation resulted in no charges. In 2016, he admitted to the murder on Fox News, prompting the Army to reopen the investigation.
According to the Army Times, “Any review or intervention by Trump could constitute unlawful command influence and could threaten the case against the former Green Beret.” A Pentagon spokesperson said that “the allegations against Major Matt Golsteyn are a law enforcement matter. The Department of Defense will respect the integrity of this process and provide updates when appropriate.” From the December 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Why wasn't that guy on the kill list if he's making bombs?
MICHAEL WALTZ (REP.-ELECT): Because they have -- you have this whole process to get them on the kill list and that's where it gets really gray, where the ground commander should have some discretion on whether we can take that guy out, and whether they're going to kill -- the problem is is once you've detained them. And then what Maj. Golsteyn is saying is he was released, and then they followed the rules of engagement to then take him out. And that's the gray area that we have to figure out.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): The president says he -- he tweeted out he's going to review this, but he hasn't been convicted yet, so we'll see how that goes, but Colonel --
WALTZ: And he also has the power of pardon. I guess my point is this problem still exists today, out there as we speak.
KILMEADE: But with the respect you have, your contacts with Dick Cheney going in as a congressman, you can get answers that we can't so hopefully you can do that.
WALTZ: That's exactly what I plan to do and one of the reasons I ran.