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Ex-Navy SEAL acquitted of war crimes invites friends and family to ring in the Fourth of July

Eddie Gallagher, the decorated Navy SEAL who was acquitted earlier this week of killing a wounded ISIS combatant in Iraq, celebrated the Fourth of July with friends and family in San Diego.

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The veteran appeared relaxed as he drank beer and cooked meat.

He was photographed alongside his wife, Andrea, who was often by his side during his court martial. 

The Gallaghers took in a fireworks spectacular, which was visible from their home in the La Playa section of San Diego.

Gallagher was wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with the American flag. Below it read: ‘FREE EDDIE.’

In another photo, Gallagher is seen alongside his wife and former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who served as an adviser to Gallagher during the court martial.

Gallagher is seen in the photo holding up a copy of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The front page of the newspaper shows Gallagher and his wife emerging from the court martial after he was acquitted of murder.

‘NAVY SEAL ACQUITTED ON ALL MURDER CHARGES,’ the front page headline read.

Another unidentified individual in the photo is seen wearing a gray t-shirt which reads: ‘FREE EDDIE.’

Beneath the letter is a photograph of Gallagher in his military uniform.

In another photo, Gallagher is seen alongside Duncan Hunter, the former Marine.

During Gallagher’s trial, Hunter raised eyebrows when he defended the former SEAL by saying that he posed for photographed with the corpses of enemy fighters.

Hunter also said that his unit likely killed scores of civilians during his time in combat in Iraq, according to The Washington Post. 

Hunter has been indicted by federal authorities for alleged wire fraud and the misuse of campaign funds.

U.S. prosecutors allege that the Republican congressman from east San Diego used some of the funds to pursue extramarital affairs.

On June 13, Hunter’s wife, Margaret, pleaded guilty to conspiring to misuse campaign funds. She has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. 

On Wednesday, Gallagher, 40, celebrated being cleared of the murder of a teenage Islamic State captive by getting a huge tattoo of his wife’s eyes. 

Photos of his new ink in various stages of progress were posted to the Facebook page ‘Free Eddie Gallagher’ late on Wednesday. 

In a picture of the finished work, the gigantic black tattoo can be seen stretching across his whole left forearm, with stars and stripes framing the large eyes.  

The 40-year-old is no stranger to tattoos – his wife recently shared a black-and-white photo of the topless dad cuddling their son on social media where a huge tattoo of a frog skeleton can be seen on his right shoulder.

After his acquittal on Tuesday, Gallagher and his wife drove away from court in a white convertible Mustang and said they were going for ‘tattoos and alcohol’. 

Since he was charged in September 2018, Andrea, 39, has relentlessly campaigned for her husband’s exoneration for the killing of the 17-year-old militant.

Andrea made multiple television appearances, first on Fox News and later, as the trial gathered speed, on Good Morning America to insist on his innocence and condemn prosecutors’ attempts to put him behind bars.  

The acquittal at a military court on Naval Base San Diego was met with an outpouring of emotion as the military jury also cleared Gallagher of attempted murder in the shootings of two civilians and all other charges, except for posing for photos with the body of the dead captive.  

Outside the court Gallagher greeted the media alongside his wife and lawyers. He spoke briefly saying: ‘I’m happy and I’m thankful. I thank God, my legal team and my wife.’

In an emotional video shared by Andrea on Instagram after the jury had returned its verdict, Gallagher scooped up his children and hugged them while they yelled ‘finally!’ and music played in the background. 

The Special Operations Chief has had his rank reduced though from that of Senior Chief to Petty Officer First Class and has been told he will have around $10,000 docked from his pay over the next four months.

He was sentenced on Wednesday for the only charge he was convicted of – posing with the corpse of an ISIS fighter.

It carries a maximum confinement sentence of four months but because Gallagher already spent 10 months in the brig awaiting trial, it is considered time served.

The jury of five Marines and two Navy personnel decided the sentence. He must forfeit $2,697 of pay for four months, which works out to around $10,780.

Earlier on Wednesday, President Trump congratulate Gallagher and his wife on their court victory.

‘Congratulations to Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, his wonderful wife Andrea, and his entire family. You have been through much together. Glad I could help!’ he tweeted.

In March, Trump weighed in to get Gallagher out of the brig – the military equivalent of jail – to let him go home to his wife and kids ahead of his trial for allegedly murdering a teenage ISIS fighter in Mosul, Iraq, in 2017.  

Earlier, Gallagher and his wife appeared on Fox and Friends where they thanked the president for his support and condemned the SEALs who spoke against him.   

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