Bowe Bergdahl asks Obama for pardon before Trump takes office

Accused Army deserter Sgt. Bower Bergdahl, who goes on trial next year on charges of desertion and misbehavior, has written a letter to President Obama asking that he be pardoned before the president leaves office in January.

Washington Examiner:

 

Bergdahl was freed following five years in captivity in 2014 when the U.S. gave up five Taliban detainees in return for the disgraced service member. The letter was addressed to Obama and thanked him for making the swap that brought him back to the U.S. He is now petitioning the Justice Department for clemency before President-elect Trump takes office due to the Republican's opposition to him, according to the New York Times.

Bergdahl's lead defense lawyer, Eugene Fidell, requested a pre-emptive pardon that would preclude his client's trial on desertion and misbehavior charges. His trial is scheduled to start April 18, 2017. Fidell said if the case has not been approved by Inauguration Day, he will submit a motion to have it dismissed.

Trump railed against Bergdahl while on the campaign trail, calling him a "dirty, rotten traitor" and joked about shooting him for abandoning his troops.

The Army has been in no hurry to prosecute this case, seeing it as a political football that could have been used against the Democrats during the campaign. And the fallout from the release of the Taliban commanders is still being felt in Washington as the former Gitmo prisoners are pretty much free to come and go as they please in a comfortable home in Qatar. The Pentagon suspects that at least one of the former prisoners has returned to terrorist activity.

So if the president decides to pardon Bergdahl, he will have his legacy tarnished with the backlash from Republicans who are still objecting to the swap. Given the fact that Trump will not be inclined to grant Bergdahl similar considerations, Obama may allow military justice to move forward.

 

Accused Army deserter Sgt. Bower Bergdahl, who goes on trial next year on charges of desertion and misbehavior, has written a letter to President Obama asking that he be pardoned before the president leaves office in January.

Washington Examiner:

 

Bergdahl was freed following five years in captivity in 2014 when the U.S. gave up five Taliban detainees in return for the disgraced service member. The letter was addressed to Obama and thanked him for making the swap that brought him back to the U.S. He is now petitioning the Justice Department for clemency before President-elect Trump takes office due to the Republican's opposition to him, according to the New York Times.

Bergdahl's lead defense lawyer, Eugene Fidell, requested a pre-emptive pardon that would preclude his client's trial on desertion and misbehavior charges. His trial is scheduled to start April 18, 2017. Fidell said if the case has not been approved by Inauguration Day, he will submit a motion to have it dismissed.

Trump railed against Bergdahl while on the campaign trail, calling him a "dirty, rotten traitor" and joked about shooting him for abandoning his troops.

The Army has been in no hurry to prosecute this case, seeing it as a political football that could have been used against the Democrats during the campaign. And the fallout from the release of the Taliban commanders is still being felt in Washington as the former Gitmo prisoners are pretty much free to come and go as they please in a comfortable home in Qatar. The Pentagon suspects that at least one of the former prisoners has returned to terrorist activity.

So if the president decides to pardon Bergdahl, he will have his legacy tarnished with the backlash from Republicans who are still objecting to the swap. Given the fact that Trump will not be inclined to grant Bergdahl similar considerations, Obama may allow military justice to move forward.

 

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