President Trump. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

President Trump issued full pardons to two Army officials and restored the rank of a Navy SEAL — each of whom had been accused or convicted of war crimes — the White House announced on Friday.

Why it matters: The intervention came despite opposition raised by military justice experts and Pentagon officials. "The moves signaled that as commander in chief, Mr. Trump intends to use his power as the ultimate arbiter of military justice," the New York Times writes.

The state of play:

  • Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance served more than six years of his 19-year sentence for the murder of two civilians.
  • Special Forces officer Major Matthew Golsteyn will have a murder charge dropped for killing an Afghan citizen he thought was a Taliban bomb-maker.
  • Chief Petty Officer Edward Ghallagher, a Navy SEAL, was found guilty of bringing discredit on the armed forces, by posing in a photo with the corpse of a captive he was accused of killing. He will have his rank restored after being demoted to petty officer first class.

Between the lines: The three people had been promulgated as "war heroes unfairly prosecuted for actions taken in the heat and confusion of battle," the Times writes.

  • But military brass pushed back against the action, saying it would undermine the military's code of justice, according to Business Insider.

Go deeper: Where U.S. troops and military assets are deployed in the Middle East

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Unrest in Philadelphia after fatal police shooting of Black man

Demonstrators rally on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday during a tense second night of protests in Philadelphia over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man.

Driving the news: Philadelphia Jim Kenney (D) and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a joint statement Monday that police were launching a "full investigation" to answer questions that arose from video that captured part of the incident with police.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Tropical Storm Zeta nears

Municipality workers clean the streets of garbage in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Tuesday that was left by Zeta, which struck the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 Hurricane a day earlier — causing no major damage to infrastructure. Photo: Medios y Media/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane and bring dangerous storm surge conditions to parts of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, ahead of the storm's expected arrival south of New Orleans.