Lawyers for accused deserter Bowe Bergdahl have filed a third appeal in his case, now asserting that President Trump’s comments during the 2016 campaign season that he’s a “dirty, rotten, no good traitor,” could taint his ability to get a fair trial.
Bergdahl’s argument states that Trump used “unlawful command influence” to sway opinion involving his case. A military judge declined to dismiss the case on the same grounds, while an appellate court, the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, upheld the ruling.
Now the case moves on to the highest military court, the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Via Fox News:
Attorneys for accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl took their third shot Thursday at getting his case tossed, once again arguing that President Trump blew their client’s chance of a fair trial when he called the sergeant and former Taliban captive “a dirty, rotten traitor.”
In a 50-page appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, Bergdahl’s legal team argued that the “unprecedented circumstances” of then-candidate Trump calling Bergdahl a traitor and suggesting he should be executed create an “unlawful command influence.”
The term refers to a military legal concept in which someone in authority attempts to influence military judicial proceedings.
Bergdahl is widely speculated to have deserted his platoon in Afghanistan, and several men died searching for him after he left his post in June of 2009.
“Frankly, I would take that son of a b****, I’d fly him back and drop him right over the top,” Trump added to raucous applause.
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“I think [Trump] was speaking with reckless indifference to the consequences of what he was saying,” Bergdahl’s lawyer charges. “As a citizen, I find it deeply disturbing that anyone could blow off comments a candidate for the nation’s highest office makes on the basis that they are simply campaign rhetoric.”
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