Army judge says Trump comments have not influenced Bergdahl case


FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism of U.S. Military Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has not harm the soldier’s probabilities of a good sentence for deserting his submit in Afghanistan in 2009 and endangering troops, a army decide dominated on Monday.

U.S. Military Sergeant Robert Bowdrie “Bowe” Bergdahl (L) arrives on the courthouse on the fourth day of sentencing proceedings in his courtroom martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S., October 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Military Colonel Jeffery Nance stated he would think about the president’s remarks as a mitigating issue, nevertheless, elevating the potential of a lighter punishment for the soldier who faces as much as life in jail and a dishonorable discharge.

Throughout final yr’s presidential marketing campaign, Republican Trump referred to as Bergdahl “a no-good traitor who ought to have been executed.” The protection stated newer remarks by the president confirmed his opinion of Bergdahl had not modified and had unlawfully influenced the proceedings.

Nance stated in courtroom at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg, the place Bergdahl’s sentencing listening to is underway, that Trump’s feedback in the course of the marketing campaign have been “conclusory, condemning and damning of the accused.”

However the decide stated he was not influenced by the statements or the president’s seeming renewal of them two weeks in the past on the identical day Bergdahl pleaded responsible.

“I’m utterly unaffected by any feedback President Trump has made about Sergeant Bergdahl,” Nance stated.

U.S. Military Sergeant Robert Bowdrie “Bowe” Bergdahl (R) arrives on the courthouse on the fourth day of sentencing proceedings in his courtroom martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S., October 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Bergdahl, 31, pleaded responsible on Oct. sixteen to desertion and misbehavior earlier than the enemy. The Idaho native was captured by the Taliban after strolling off his fight outpost in Paktika province in June 2009, and spent the next 5 years in captivity struggling torture, abuse and neglect.

The soldier, launched in a 2014 Taliban prisoner swap brokered by the Democratic Obama administration, stated he had deliberate to go to a close-by base to report “crucial issues” in his chain of command.

Through the previous week, U.S. service members testifying for the prosecution described the dangers and hardships they confronted looking for Bergdahl. A number of service members have been wounded.

Grasp Sergeant Mark Allen was probably the most critically harm, struggling a debilitating mind damage that left him…



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