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Federal Judge Hands Infamous Army Deserter Bowe Bergdahl a Partial Win, Sets Deadline for Full Decision

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Former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has won a round in his efforts to avoid punishment for a court martial ruling against him for his desertion in Afghanistan.

However, Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., rejected Bergdahl’s claims that comments made about him by former President Donald Trump and the late Sen. John McCain amounted to “unlawful command influence,” according to Military.com.

Trump had called Bergdahl a “dirty rotten traitor,” while McCain said the deserter should be punished.

Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban. He was freed in exchange for five Taliban leaders in a controversial swap orchestrated by then-President Barack Obama in 2014.

In 2017, Bergdahl was given a dishonorable discharge, demoted to private and docked $10,000 in pay.

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After exhausting his appeals in military courts, Bergdahl took his case to the civilian court system.

Walton granted Bergdahl’s request for a summary judgment on his claim that he was denied a fair trial because the military judge who presided over his court martial did not reveal at the time that he was seeking a civilian position with the Justice Department.

Walton’s March 31 order did not provide details of how his ruling will impact Bergdahl. He said a full ruling, complete with a rationale, will be issued in the next 60 days.

In 2020, Bergdahl lost an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to have his conviction overturned based on comments made about him by Trump.

Does Bergdahl deserve punishment for desertion?

In his ruling, Judge Kevin A. Ohlson noted that “it is essential to note that the conduct Appellant engaged in, and the charges to which he pleaded guilty, were very serious offenses for which either a life sentence or the death penalty were authorized punishments.”

In 2015, Trump lambasted Bergdahl during a Las Vegas campaign appearance.

“We’re tired of Sgt. Bergdahl, who’s a traitor, a no-good traitor, who should have been executed,” Trump said then, according to The Associated Press.

“Thirty years ago,” he said, “he would have been shot.”

Bergdahl’s attorneys declined to comment on Walton’s ruling. An army representative said the Army “does not comment on pending litigation against” it.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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