Bergdahl’s legal team petitioning to throw out case because of McCain’s comments

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, center, arrives at the Fort Bragg courtroom facility for an arraignment hearing on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 on Fort Bragg, N.C. (Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP)

The legal team of accused deserter Bowe Bergdahl asked Monday for the US Army to drop charges against the former Prisoner of War, claiming that Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain violated his right to due process.

According to Reuters, the 30-year-old Sergeant is facing a possible life sentence on desertion charges as well as endangering US troops after he walked away from his Afghanistan-based outpost in 2009, ultimately becoming a POW for half a decade.

Defense attorneys argue that McCain said that “If it comes out that (Bergdahl) has no punishment, we’re going to have a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee.”

“I am not prejudging, OK, but it is well known that in the searches for Bergdahl, after – we know now – he deserted, there are allegations that some American soldiers were killed or wounded, or at the very least put their lives in danger, searching for what is clearly a deserter,” McCain added.

The legal team claims McCain’s comment shows the level of disdain the SASC chairman has towards Bergdahl and thus violates the Sergeant’s right to due process. The defense team has since asked that if charges are not dropped and Bergdahl is convicted, he should at least face no punishment.

“It is not rocket science to see what was wrong with Sen. McCain’s comment,” the motion says. “His comments -as the Army certainly knows- constituted impermissible meddling in a pending criminal case and an abuse of his authority as chairman of a powerful Senate committee.”

Reuters could not immediately reach representatives for McCain (R-Az) or the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Bergdahl’s court-martial is set for February 6th of next year.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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