A fundraiser for Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller has received more than $2 million from supporters to help fund his legal expenses after being jailed for repeatedly criticizing the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Scheller, 40, was arrested on Monday and jailed at the Camp Lejeune brig after he allegedly broke four military laws by refusing orders to stop posting videos critical of senior military officials on social media, Daily Mail reported on Saturday Oct. 2.
The U.S. Marine is expected to make his first court appearance in North Carolina next week.
The Pipe Hitter Foundation, founded by Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, started the fundraiser, which has received more than 26,000 donations and raised a total of $2.08 million. The money will fund legal expenses and helping Scheller’s wife and his three kids financially, and aid Scheller’s transition out of the military.
In its statement, the foundation said that it is incredibly proud to assist Scheller, who had the courage to demand accountability from his leadership in the wake of a disastrous exit from Afghanistan that led to the death of 13 of his fellow service members.
Having served 17 years in the military, Scheller is just a few years away from retirement, but neither pension and benefits mattered more than doing what is right—demanding accountability.
“Stu risked everything to stand up for what he believes,” the fundraiser said. “LtCol Scheller stated in his first video that he was willing to lose his job, his retirement, and his family’s stability to stand for accountability. And he did lose all three of those things.”
The foundation said it stands with Scheller and his family because he is precisely the type of Marine the country needs to push back against the national security structure that has a long-demonstrated track record of inefficiencies, corruption, and failure.
Scheller resigned on Aug. 29 after expressing dissatisfaction with what he called a tactless withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Scheller has since then posted videos to criticize military superiors, including one that appeared to threaten his bosses, saying: ‘When I am done with what I’m about to do, you all are going to need the jobs and the security.”
A military charge document accuses Scheller of contempt toward officials, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, failure to obey order or regulation, and conduct unbecoming of an officer or a gentleman.
He has been placed “in pre-trial confinement'” while he awaits an Article 32 preliminary hearing to determine if he broke the chain of command and is due to appear in court next week after his first court appearance was delayed.
At least 36 Congress members have signed a letter calling for Scheller’s release in an initiative led by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who said the Marine’s imprisonment “appears to be for messaging, retribution, and convenience.”