The Navy’s top lawyer — Vice Adm. James Crawford III — illegally urged a fellow military leader in San Diego to convict a potentially innocent SEAL of sex crimes, according to a newly filed affidavit by a junior Navy attorney.
The document escalates an already unusual case about whether senior commanders hijacked justice amid what they saw as growing political pressure in Washington, D.C., to be tougher against sexual-assault crimes in the military. The SEAL, who has served his prison sentence, is appealing the ruling in a bid to clear his military record and restore his reputation.
Dated June 5 and filed this week as part of the sailor’s appellate motions, the affidavit was signed by Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Dowling, a former staff attorney in the Judge Advocate General’s Office for Navy Region Southwest.