Bergdahl: I Can't Get a Fair Trial Under Trump
Attorneys file motion to dismiss
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2017 1:48 PM CST
In this Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, file photo, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaves the courthouse after his arraignment hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C.   (Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP, File)

(Newser) – Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl faces an Army court-martial on charges of desertion and misbehavior for allegedly walking out on his post in Afghanistan in 2009, and now that Donald Trump is president, the 30-year-old says he won't get a fair trial. His attorneys filed a motion to dismiss shortly after Trump's inauguration, in which they document 156 times Trump has used the word "traitor" to describe Bergdahl; the president has also referred to Bergdahl as a "son of a bitch" and said he should have been executed. According to Courthouse News, Trump has even said he would be willing to execute Bergdahl himself.

Bergdahl's attorneys argue in their filing that Trump has violated their client's right to due process as well as a military law against the unlawful influence of command by publicly deciding that Bergdahl is guilty, before he's faced trial, and calling for unauthorized cruel and unusual punishment. They believe a potential military jury panel could be unfairly prejudiced by Trump's comments, Military.com reports. Bergdahl, who was captured after leaving his post and held as a Taliban prisoner for five years before five Guantanamo detainees were freed in exchange for his freedom, sought a pardon from Barack Obama before he left office, but the White House did not respond. Should Bergdahl's charges not be dismissed, Politico reports that his lawyers are considering calling Trump as a witness during the court-martial, which is scheduled to start in April.

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