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The Congressional Justice for Warriors Caucus Calls Upon President Trump to Pardon the Biden Four

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Washington, May 12, 2020 | comments

The Congressional Justice for Warriors Caucus is proud to announce its support for decorated U.S. veterans, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough and respectfully call upon President Trump to issue pardons for these brave men who suffered grave injustices at the hands of the United States justice system.

Also known as the Biden Four, Dustin, Evan, Nicholas and Paul were security contractors tasked with protecting U.S. personnel in Iraq in 2007. The veterans were tragically abandoned by their own government after an emergency response to secure the safe return of an American diplomat turned deadly: The men were forced to disable a perceived car bomb and came under small arms fire, which they returned and ultimately several Iraqis were killed.

Facts about the case:

o   Over a dozen witnesses either heard or saw incoming rounds or saw enemy shooters.

o   At least one Iraqi witness heard enemy shooters and another Iraqi witness described seeing an individual dressed as Iraqi police shooting in the direction of the U.S. security team.

o   A radio operator who was in the Tactical Operations Center during the incident compiled a radio log which clearly indicated a gun battle took place.

o   The veterans’ vehicles had been riddled with bullet strikes—another indication of a firefight that day in Baghdad.

o   A majority of the incident was investigated by the Iraqi National Police. Most of the physical evidence that was collected disappeared and FBI investigators did not conduct an on-site forensic investigation until three weeks after the incident occurred.

o   Just days before the incident, the Iraqi National Police were condemned in a report commissioned by Congress which concluded that the group was “regularly accused of sectarian abuse and illegal activities,” including “involvement in death squad activities.” The report described “almost universally negative descriptions” of the Iraqi National Police.

o   Despite multiple requests from the defense, the U.S. government has yet to disclose documentation which could prove that Col. Faris Karim, the Iraqi National police chief who conducted the initial investigation, had ties to Iranian-backed insurgent groups.

o   In 2009, a federal judge dismissed the manslaughter and weapons charges brought against the Biden Four by aggressive prosecutors, after the government withheld “substantial exculpatory evidence” from the grand jury and improperly utilized sworn statements by the veterans which were provided under the promise of immunity.

o   However, this was not sufficient for then-Vice President Joe Biden and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who pushed for prosecutors to appeal the case after facing political pressures from the Iraqi government.

o   Shockingly, in 2010 in Baghdad, then-Vice President Joe Biden stood next to then-Iraqi president Jalal Talabani and declared that the United States was “determined” to hold the four veterans accountable and that it would appeal the judge’s decision to dismiss the charges.

o   All four men were ultimately tried in Washington, D.C. by a civilian jury with no combat experience. Dustin, Evan and Paul were sentenced to 12-15 years in prison. Nick was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Throughout the legal processes, it became clear the Obama Administration was intent on using these four veterans to placate the Iraqi government with little regard for their God-given constitutional rights and prior service to our nation.

The Congressional Justice for Warriors Caucus believes it is imperative to stand up for these brave veterans and humbly request that they receive presidential pardons.

Member Statements:

Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nick Slatten and Paul Slough are brave American veterans who repeatedly put themselves in harm’s way to defend our nation. These men continued their calls to serve our country as security contractors hired specifically to protect our U.S. diplomats in Iraq during the height of the war. Their unit was dispatched to help a convoy secure the safe return of an American official after a car bomb detonated near the diplomat’s location. Fearing a second attack, the unit stopped traffic in Nisur Square. A suspected car bomb drove towards them, refusing to stop, and the men simultaneously began taking small arms fire as they disabled the vehicle.

They put their lives on the line for American diplomats in war-torn Iraq, but sadly, they were used as political pawns by the Obama Administration to appease the Iraqi government following the unfortunate incident in Nisur Square. The constitutional violations, prosecutorial misconduct, and media malpractice that occurred during the multiple criminal trials it took to put these innocent men in prison should send chills down the spines of every American who believes in the rule of law and the integrity of the United States justice system, especially for those hired to defend Americans.  

Dustin, Evan, Nick and Paul were aptly nicknamed the “Biden Four” after then-Vice President Joe Biden shamefully stood next to the Iraqi president in 2010 and announced he was “determined” to appeal a federal judge’s dismissal of the charges against them. In his ruling, the federal judge lambasted the overzealous government prosecutors for clearly violating the veterans’ constitutional rights.  That did not stop Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden from scapegoating these men for political and diplomatic expediency.

These four veterans deserve medals instead of being behind metal bars, and I respectfully urge President Trump to use his executive authority to grant them full pardons. Their punishment for serving and protecting their country needs to end now.

-Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01)

"These brave warriors were honorably discharged from their respective branches for their service to our Country. When they came under attack, their split-second decisions saved many lives. Unfortunately, the Iraqi government conducted a corrupt investigation into the incident and the liberal media amplified many false accusations against these warriors. It was Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden who pushed for further prosecution, a truly unconscionable move given the facts of the case. It’s abundantly clear that a heartbreaking injustice has been done to the Biden Four. President Trump should pardon these brave warriors and correct this injustice once and for all.”

-Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04)

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