One of President Trump’s attorneys may take legal action to clear the records of Marines who pleaded guilty to urinating on Taliban corpses in 2011.
John M. Dowd, who has represented the president since June, confirmed to Marine Corps Times on Friday that he may file a petition to clear the records of the scout snipers involved in the urination case after an appeals court ruled that then-Commandant Gen. James Amos had illegally interfered in the legal proceedings.
The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Appeals dismissed charges against Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin on Nov. 8 because Amos told the first general officer in charge of investigating the case that he wanted the Marines involved “crushed” and discharged from the Corps. None of this information was provided to Chamblin or his defense before he pleaded guilty to urinating on the Taliban corpses.
“It’s probably the most powerful finding of unlawful command influence that I’ve ever read,” Dowd said.
Dowd argues that the scout snipers involved would not have pleaded guilty had it not been for Amos’ unlawful command influence and obstruction of justice. “That’s more than enough to clear the records of these fine Marines,” he said.
Right now, Dowd said he is waiting to see if the government will appeal the Chamblin ruling before determining when to file a petition on behalf of the seven other Marines, who were disciplined after a video of the scout snipers urinating on the Taliban corpses appeared online in 2012.
Military.com first reported on Friday that Dowd, who has represented Trump since June, would file such a petition.
Guy Womack represented former Staff Sgt. Rob Richards, who pleaded guilty at a summary court-martial for failure to obey a lawful general order and failure to maintain good order and discipline in August 2013. After being medically retired as a corporal, he died a year later of toxicity from one of his prescription drugs.
“We’re hoping now, with this change, to get his summary court-martial reversed and his rank restored,” Womack told Marine Corps Times on Friday.
Womack said he is also trying to restore Richards’ Bronze Star, which the Marine Corps opted not to award after the video was posted.