A former United States Army officer who was convicted of war crimes over killings in Afghanistan and later pardoned by Donald Trump has been criticized by one of the men who served in his platoon over his apparent plans to become a practicing lawyer.
On Thursday, Todd Fitzgerald—a specialist who was standing near 1st Lt. Clint Lorance when Lorance gave the orders to fire that led to his court martial—publicly shared his intention to oppose Lorance’s legal ambitions. “Eleven years ago, I witness the harassment, threatening, and murder of innocent Afghan locals by my former platoon leader,” Fitzgerald wrote in a Twitter thread. “Now, he’s applying for the state bar in Oklahoma to attempt to practice law. I’m going to object on moral fitness and character.”
In July 2012, Lorance was commanding a platoon in southern Afghanistan when he ordered his soldiers to shoot at three men standing alongside a motorcycle who he claimed were posing a threat, according to The Washington Post. Two of the men were killed while the third escaped. The following year, a court-martial trial found Lorance guilty of murder, and he was ultimately handed a 19-year sentence.
Six years into his incarceration, in 2019, Trump issued a full pardon for Lorance following a vocal campaign in right-wing media for his release. In an interview with Military.com after he was freed, Lorance discussed his intention to become a lawyer after studying at the Appalachian School of Law—though claimed his dean had informed him he would only have a small chance of passing the bar in light of his conviction.
In his Twitter thread, Fitzgerald provided a link to the Oklahoma Bar Association website listing Lorance as an applicant