Abrams: Bergdahl decision not influenced by McCain, others
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Army Gen. Roberts Abrams said Wednesday that he was “absolutely not” influenced by comments made by Sen. John McCain or others when he elected to send accused deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s case to a general court-martial.
The four-star general who leads Army Forces Command referred Bergdahl’s charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy to the felony-level military court in December, about two months after McCain, R-Ariz., told reporters he would launch a Senate Armed Services Committee inquiry into Bergdahl if the former Taliban captive goes unpunished.
Bergdahl’s attorneys are seeking to have Abrams removed from his role as convening authority, accusing the general of being too close to the case in a previous job, not considering their objections to a general court-martial and destroying some 100 letters from the public that they argued could have contained evidence. They have been critical of the general’s decision to send the case to a general court-martial after the officer who oversaw a preliminary hearing in September 2015 recommended the case be sent to a misdemeanor-level court and said the soldier should not be imprisoned.
Bergdahl’s lawyers have also sought to have their client’s charges dismissed because of McCain’s “impermissible meddling,” which they argued violated their client’s right to due process.
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