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Bergdahl Seeks To Dismiss U.S. Desertion Case, Citing Trump Comments

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl (file photo)

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl sought a dismissal of desertion charges against him, saying he cannot get a fair trial now that Donald Trump, who has called him a traitor, is president.

Bergdahl's lawyers submitted a motion to dismiss the case on January 20, the day Trump took his oath of office.

Bergdahl spent five years as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan after walking off his post. He was freed in a controversial prisoner exchange in 2014 and later charged with desertion and endangerment of U.S. troops.

The court martial is scheduled to begin on April 28.

In seeking to dismiss the case, Bergdahl's lawyers submitted as evidence a 28-minute video showing Trump repeatedly calling Bergdahl "a no-good traitor" during various presidential campaign appearances, and suggesting the soldier should be shot or dropped from an airplane into Afghanistan.

"President Trump has made it impossible for Sergeant Bergdahl to obtain a fair trial," the motion before a military court in North Carolina said.

"By not repudiating them, President Trump has brought his earlier statements with him into the White House," it said.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters