President pardons former Oklahoma soldier who killed suspected terrorist

Published: 05/07/2019, 2:08 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) Attorney General Mike Hunter released the following statement on Monday, praising President Donald Trump after granting a full pardon for former U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna. The president’s pardon comes weeks after the attorney general renewed his 2018 call for Behenna’s pardon by sending letters to President Trump and Attorney General William Barr, where Attorney General Hunter argued the U.S. Department of Justice regulations interfered with the president’s pardon powers. “I commend President Trump’s decision to grant a full pardon for Mr. Behenna,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Mr. Behenna served his country with distinction, honor and sacrifice. He has admitted to his mistakes, has learned from them and deserves to move on from this incident without living under its cloud for the rest of his life. My hope is that Michael and the rest of his family can rest easy this evening knowing they can put this tragic situation behind them. “Again, I applaud President Trump and his team for acting on Mr. Behenna’s case and giving him back the freedoms he deserves.” Behenna was convicted in 2009 of killing a suspected terrorist in Iraq while searching for individuals responsible for an IED attack that took the lives of two men under his command. He was paroled in 2014 after serving five years of a 15-year sentence. A press statement from the White House read in part, “Mr. Behenna’s case has attracted broad support from the military, Oklahoma elected officials, and the public. Thirty-seven generals and admirals, along with a former Inspector General of the Department of Defense, signed a brief in support of Mr. Behenna’s self-defense claim. Numerous members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation, Oklahoma’s then-Governor Mary Fallin, and current Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter have also expressed support for Mr. Behenna. Further, while serving his sentence, Mr. Behenna was a model prisoner. In light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency.” Read Attorney General Hunter’s initial request for a pardon: Read Attorney General Hunter’s renewed request for a pardon:


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