Congressman Gregory Murphy is the latest member of Congress to add his voice to those calling for an end to the prosecution of the MARSOC-3, two Marine Raiders, and a Navy Corpsman who stood accused of the murder of a civilian contractor and former Green Beret following an altercation in 2018 outside a bar in Irbil Kurdistan. Congressman Murphy represents the Congressional district in North Carolina where Camp Lejune and Marine Forces Special Operations Command is located.

On February 17th, SOFREP reported that all charges had been dropped against Navy Corpsman, Chief Petty Officer Eric Gilmet after the presiding judge found that a senior Judge Advocate in the Navy’s JAG office had exerted undue command influence over Gilmet’s assigned lawyer, threatening his career for representing Gilmet.

Charges for the remaining two Marine Raiders, Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Negron, and Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Draher are still pending.  Both are facing prison sentences of up to 22 years and dishonorable discharges.

Congressman Greg Murphy visiting Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City. Courtesy Rep. Murphy’s office

SOFREP reached out to Congressman Murphy’s office for a statement about the letter he send today to General Glynn, and this was his reply.

“After reviewing the details of the case, it is clear that the evidence in this case simply does not meet the charges against these elite USMC special forces operators. 
We know that all three MARSOC Raiders participated in a single necessary act of self-defense, yet these brave service members, who attempted to avoid conflict, have become a scapegoat of a political agenda. 
For over a year, my team and I have been working to bring justice to these gentlemen and make this right. I’m grateful that following my letter last year to the Secretary of Defense, that Chief Petty Officer Eric Gilmet’s charges were dropped. Today I am once again calling on Major General Glynn to review this case and ultimately drop the remaining charges against Marine Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Draher and Marine Gunnery Sergeant Joshua Negron.
I will continue working with my colleagues on the Congressional Justice for Warriors Caucus on this and other military justice issues to make sure our service members are treated justly and fairly under the law. “
Critics of the charges brought against the Sailor and the two Marines believe that the prosecution is driven by political motives.  There have been numerous reports of active-duty members of the Special Operations community accused of various crimes including drug and weapons trafficking, murder, rape and other serious offenses.  These critics accuse the Department of Defence of taking a hammer to these service members in a tragic accident that should not have ever resulted in charges because of the evidence and mitigating circumstances of the case.
Last week Congressman Brian Mast send a similar letter of inquiry to General Glyna and the Department of Defense leadership also asking for the charges to be dropped. SOFREP covered that here.

Congressman Murphy’s letter today to Major General Glynn which was also copied to Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro Marine Commandant General David Berger, and USSOCOM Commander General David Clark is published below in its entirety.

April 4, 2022

Dear General Glynn,

 I write to you today to show my support for the two Marine Raiders who are still under pending legal charges involving what appears to be due to unlawful command influence.  As you know, Chief Petty Officer Eric Gilmet’s charges have already been dropped.  I was very happy to see this decision after writing a letter to the Secretary of Defense last year on Chief Gilmet’s behalf.

 Congressman Mast has written a previous letter where he reviewed the video evidence that clearly show that these Marines acted in self-defense against an aggressor who escalated the situation by seeking and initiating a violent confrontation.  It is very tragic that the contractor passed away later, but it appears that the actions of these Marines were fully justified, per the video of this incident.

 What is greatly concerning is the Marine Corps’ actions in this case, especially the unlawful command influence directed at the legal representatives of these men.  As you know, these charges were not filed until 10 months after this tragic situation occurred.  The prior Commander of Marine Forces Special Operations Command took a very hard line despite clear evidence showing it was not warranted, filing the most charges granted to him under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). 

 It appears the command climate at the time was to crack down on any special operators’ actions that could potentially be deemed as damaging the special operations community’s reputation for maintaining exceptional order and discipline.  The decision to prosecute these three Raiders occurred after a number of incidents involving alleged bad conduct by special operations military members were highlighted by the media.

 As you well know, due to incredibly bad actions by the Marine Corps Staff Judge Advocate staff, all charges were recently dropped against Chief Petty Officer Eric Gilmet.  This decision was made by the Marine Corps leadership after one of the Marine Corps’ lawyers was shown to have committed unlawful command influence in this case. 

 So, sir, you can see there is a pattern of highly unprofessional and unlawful conduct being committed in this case.  Therefore, I implore you to review this case very carefully, taking into consideration the deplorable conduct by the Marines who have prosecuted this case.

 I am confident you will make a determination that is just, and hope that you ensure that patriotic Americans who have served this nation with honor and integrity—and in this case acted purely in self-defense—are not needlessly prosecuted.

Very Respectfully,

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Gregory F. Murphy, M.D.

Member of Congress    

If you are not up to speed on this case which dates back to 2018, you can read more of our extensive coverage here: