Federal Judge Orders Marine Corps to Submit Affidavit Proving it did not Retaliate Against Marine Corps Major

Federal Judge Orders Marine Corps to Submit Affidavit Proving it did not Retaliate Against Marine Corps Major

Federal Judge Joseph Bianco has ordered the Marine Corps to submit an affidavit, within 10 days, stating that it did not retaliate against Maj. Jason Brezler over mishandled classified information.

Brezler used his personal email account to send a classified briefing to the head of operations at Forward Operating Base Dehli, located in Afghanistan. The email contained information warning the Marines about police chief Sarwar Jan, whom Brezler deemed was corrupt and dangerous. Days later, one of Sarwar's underlings was involved in the killing of three Marines.

Afterwards, Brezler received an unfavorable fitness report from the Marine Corps. In order to determine whether the Marine Corps had followed the proper procedure when filing the fitness report, Brezler consulted congressman Peter King. In response, King contacted then-Commandant Gen. James Amos, questioning whether protocol was followed in Brezler's case. However, the email from King was forwarded to Amos's staff. Amos later stated that the first he had heard of Brezler's consulting King was in a Marine Corps Times story.

Five days after the Marine Corps Times story, the commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve issued an order for Brezler to appear before a board of inquiry. The board of inquiry recommended that Brezler be discharged for using a personal, unsecured email in sending his classified briefing concerning Sarwar.

The main issue is whether the board of inquiry issued their claim before or after receiving notice of Brezler and King's consultation. If the inquiry was issued after, the federal judge may find sufficient evidence that the Marine Corps unlawfully retaliated against Brezler.

The Marine Corps has vehemently denied making the inquiry in retaliation for Brezler consulting congressman King in reviewing his case. If Judge Bianco finds sufficient evidence that the Marine Corps issued its inquiry only in retaliation for Brezler seeking King's help, the federal judge may decide to intervene in Brezler's military case.

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