Ousted Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer on Sunday issued a scathing rebuke of President Donald Trump’s attacks on the rule of law and the constitution.
Spencer was fired by Pentagon Chief Mark Esper after Trump interfered in the court-martial of a SEAL charged with war crimes.
The president pardoned Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, had his demotion revoked and ordered his rank reinstated. When the Navy reportedly was beginning the process to remove Gallagher from the SEALs, Trump again interfered, telling them to stop and “Get back to business!” via Twitter.
The former Navy Secretary disagreed with Trump’s interference, and was going to proceed with efforts to remove Gallagher from the SEALs. He said he did not see a tweet as an official order.
“The rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries,” Spencer wrote in a letter obtained by CNN. “Good order and discipline is what has enabled our victory against foreign tyranny time and again, from Captain Lawrence’s famous order ‘Don’t Give up the Ship’, to the discipline and determination that propelled our flag to the highest point on Iwo Jima.”
“The Constitution. and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all. Through my Title Ten Authority, I have strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent, from the newest recruit to the Flag and General Officer level.”
“Unfortunately it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
You can read the entire letter here.