WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Sunday that he would examine the case of a Special Forces soldier charged by the Army last week with murdering a suspected Afghan bomb maker nearly nine years ago.
“At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Military hero,’ Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, responding to a segment on Fox News. “He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas.”
Major Golsteyn acknowledged the shooting both during a C.I.A. job interview and in a 2016 segment on Fox. The case has become a cause among some conservatives who believe that the Army should not charge one of its own soldiers for killing someone believed to be an enemy.
The shooting happened in February 2010, days after a roadside bomb killed two Marines who had been working with Major Golsteyn’s Green Beret team during the battle for the city of Marja in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, according to court documents obtained by The New York Times. American troops captured the Afghan man, who was found with bomb-making material, but then released him. It is unclear how Major Golsteyn tracked him down after his release.
The Army opened an investigation after Major Golsteyn told the C.I.A. about the shooting in 2011. The Army closed the case without charging Major Golsteyn, but stripped him of a Silver Star, a high honor for Special Forces soldiers.
In a November 2016 appearance on Fox News, Major Golsteyn again said he had shot the man. Later that month, the Army opened a second investigation.
Major Golsteyn signed a memo acknowledging his murder charge on Thursday. A preliminary hearing has not been scheduled, according to a spokesman for the Army Special Operations Command.
In a “Fox & Friends” segment on Sunday, Phil Stackhouse, Major Golsteyn’s lawyer, said that a prosecutor had “intimated” that the Army has new evidence in the case, but that Major Golsteyn did not admit anything in his 2016 Fox News interview that the Army did not already know.
“What new evidence could there possibly be from 2010?” Mr. Stackhouse said.