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    Bergdahl Lawyers Shift Tactics With Presidential Change

    Bergdahl Lawyers Shift Tactics With Presidential Change

    After no pardon from Obama, claim of no possibility for fair trial under Trump.

    Military deserter Bowe Bergdahl was hoping for a pardon from President Obama which never came. Now that President Trump has taken office, Bergdahl’s lawyers are claiming he can’t be guaranteed a fair trial due to Trump’s prior criticism of him.

    The Hill reports:

    Bergdahl lawyers press for dismissal after Trump inauguration

    Lawyers for former prisoner of war and Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl made good on their promise to call for his case to be dismissed based on President Trump’s campaign comments against him, filing a motion on Inauguration Day.

    Trump’s comments compromise their client’s right to a fair trial, the lawyers argue, releasing a 28-minute video of times the new president has disparaged Bergdahl.

    “President Trump has made it impossible for SGT Bergdahl to obtain a fair trial,” his lawyers wrote in the 57-page filing, complete with a screenshot of a Trump tweet about Bergdahl and photos of Trump pantomiming executions at this rallies. “President Trump transformed his rallies into a televised traveling lynch mob. Justice cannot be done and public confidence in military justice cannot be maintained under these circumstances.”

    Bergdahl is set to face a court-martial in April on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after walking away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

    Bergdahl’s legal team put together this video exhibit outlining their case. It’s pretty long but the first minute alone will give you the idea:

    It’s a little surprising Bergdahl didn’t get a pardon from Obama, given the lengths he went to in order to get him back. We ran a reader poll in 2014 asking if Obama’s deal was worth it. See the results here.

    The Washington Post has more:

    Obama administration chose not to act on pardon request in Bowe Bergdahl’s desertion case

    Obama issued 1,715 commutations to federal prisoners during his administration, surpassing the combined total of his 12 predecessors, and an additional 212 pardons. Among those whose sentences were commuted was Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. soldier who served just short of seven years of a 35-year sentence for for leaking thousands of classified documents to anti-secrecy website Wikileaks when she was deployed to Iraq as an intelligence analyst.

    Manning’s commutation prompted speculation that Bergdahl also could receive legal relief from Obama. The soldier faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for leaving his patrol base in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009 in what he characterized as an attempt to draw attention to problems he saw in his unit. Bergdahl was captured within hours, smuggled over the border into Pakistan and remained in captivity until the Obama administration negotiated a trade in May 2014 in which it released five Taliban detainees.


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    We’re about to find out just how effective Obama was at remaking the military in his own image.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Merlin. | January 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      I have a question. The investigators assigned to this case basically said he did everything he is accused of, but recommended no charges be brought against him, ostensibly because of his captivity. The only reason this went forward is because of intervention by a high ranking officer who was like; “WTF is wrong with you?”.

      Are those investigators the same as the prosecution? Will they be called to testify? What I am saying is how this turns out will ultimately be up to the Court Martial Panel, but I worry that the prosecution my not be invested in actually giving a good showing.

      Bob00 in reply to Merlin. | January 23, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      Obama could screw with them, but I doubt he could change the mindset. There are families that the military is the family business.

    Gremlin1974 | January 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    It would seem to me that since the Investigators were overruled in their assertion that charges not be filed that there is pretty overwhelming evidence for conviction.

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