Marine pleads guilty to charges after posting videos critical of US withdrawal from Afghanistan
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (CNN) A Marine who posted videos on social media criticizing top military leaders' handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan pleaded guilty to six charges in a military court at Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, on Thursday.
Scheller appeared in the military court room in his Marine Corps uniform, flanked by his military attorney and his private attorney sitting at a small table in front of the judge.
Judge Col. Glen Hines asked Scheller if he was guilty on each charge.
When Hines asked Scheller why he posted the first video, Scheller said the "Secretary of Defense made decisions that led to the failure in the withdrawal of Afghanistan."
The first video, which Scheller posted on August 26 during the withdrawal, was directed at Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Scheller said.
"To me, military leaders have an obligation to stand up for what they believe is right," Scheller told the judge.
Scheller said sometimes military leaders need to have the "moral courage" to do that.
The judge asked if Scheller was calling out Austin when Scheller said Austin should "throw his rank on the table," in the first video.
Scheller was placed in pretrial confinement at the Regional Brig for Marine Corps Installations East at Camp Lejeune after being charged.
He was released from the Brig on October 5, according to a US Marine Corps press release.
After the first video was posted, Marine Corps spokesperson Maj. Jim Stenger said in a statement that Scheller had been relieved of command "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command."
There is a forum in which Marine leaders can address their disagreements with the chain of command, but it's not social media," Stenger said.