The names of two Marines, Lance Corporals Byron Darnell Law II and David Javier Salazar-Quintero, were made public after the two were arrested by Border Patrol for allegedly picking up unauthorized immigrants on July 3.
Those arrests led to the July 25 action, the Marine Corps said at the time.
After the July arrests, the Marines released a statement to the news media announcing the arrests, and Marine public affairs officers provided statements to several news outlets, including the Union-Tribune.
"1st Marine Division is committed to justice and the rule of law, and we will continue to fully cooperate with NCIS on this matter," the Marine Corps said in the July 25 statement.
Division officials also told the Union-Tribune that the public nature of the arrests was intentional.
Edinburgh told The Orange County Register that the arrests were an "eye-opening thing for the battalion ... . It had a shock and awe factor. The command wanted to send a message to make clear this type of behavior is not tolerated."
According to the defense motion, those statements reveal that the purpose of the public arrests was to punish the accused before their trials and influence potential verdicts.
Jeremiah Sullivan, another San Diego-based civilian defense attorney who represents one of the Marines, called the public arrests a circus.
"It is puzzling, but not surprising, why NCIS would coordinate such a circus," Sullivan said in an email Tuesday. "The message they are sending is unlawful command influence. This was completely unnecessary and all for show."
Sullivan said he has not yet seen the video.