Trump pardons Army officers, restores Navy SEAL's rank

U.S. President Donald Trump has intervened in three war crime cases, pardoning two Army officers and restoring the rank of a Navy seal.

In a move critics have said would undermine military justice and send a message that battlefield atrocities will be tolerated.

The White House said in a statement on Friday that Trump granted full pardons to First Lieutenant Clint Lorance and Major Mathew Golsteyn.

Lorance was found guilty of two counts of murder for illegally ordering the fatal shootings of two men on motorcycles in Afghanistan in 2013.

While Golsteyn was charged last year with murdering an Afghan man while deployed in 2010.

The White House also said Trump ordered Edward Gallagher's rank be restored to what he held before he was convicted in a military trial this year.

In July, a military jury acquitted him of murdering a captured Islamic State fighter by stabbing the wounded prisoner in the neck, but it convicted him of illegally posing with the detainee's corpse, which led to his rank being reduced.

Criticizing the president's action, the American Civil Liberties Union put out a statement saying: "Trump has sent a clear message of disrespect for law, morality" and the military justice system.