Trump's Statements Interfere With Bowe Bergdahl's Sentencing

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses in front of an American flag

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses in front of an American flag

USA army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who last week pleaded guilty on Monday to deserting his post in Afghanistan in 2009, has said his captors were more "honest" with him than the army has been since his release three years ago, Fox News reported.

Bergdahl's defense team argued that their client could not get a fair shake from the court because Trump, during a Rose Garden appearance on October 16, at first said he couldn't talk about the case and then added: "But I think people have heard my comments in the past".

Col. Jeffrey Nance, the judge overseeing the case, denied the motion.

But last week Trump addressed his past comments when asked about them at a news conference. "They got what they wanted", Bergdahl said.

Bergdahl is expected to appear for sentencing on Monday in a military courtroom after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy.

Fidell argued the answer amounted to endorsement - this time, by the Commander and Chief of the United States, rather than a blustering candidate - of his previous criticism of Bergdahl. Trump said he couldn't comment on Bergdahl, but added: "I think people have heard my comments in the past".

Nance seemed unsatisfied with that explanation, calling Oshana's interpretation "strained". Now, the disgraced military officer awaits his sentencing. He indicated he would issue a ruling later on the defense request to dismiss the case because of Trump.

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President Donald Trump was unsympathetic to Bergdahl's situation: "In the good old days, he would have been executed", he has said.

President Barack Obama brought Bergdahl home in 2014 in a swap for five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, saying the USA does not leave behind service members.

Nance told the defense that, regardless of what Trump said, "I don't have any doubt whatsoever that I can be fair and impartial in the sentencing in this matter". Officials who had at first praised the soldier's rescue criticized then-President Barack Obama's decision to free five Taliban members in exchange for Bergdahl, especially once details of his desertion came to light.

On Oct. 23, Judge Nance allowed attorneys to question him regarding the impact of Trump's statements, and he ultimately delayed the sentencing until Oct. 25 so he could thoroughly consider the defense motion, the Associated Press reports.

In 2015, an Army Sanity Board evaluation said Bergdahl had schizotypal personality disorder.

Bergdahl told an Army investigator the plan was to trigger the Army's missing soldier alert DUSTWUN - shorthand for Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown - in order to secure an audience with a general to voice his concerns. "Here, it could be the guy I pass in the corridor who's going to sign the paper that sends me away for life".

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