An Army appeals court has rejected Bowe Bergdahl's claim that President Trump's public description of him as "a no-good traitor who should have been executed" and other comments on the disgraced soldier's case were substantial enough to alter the course of his court-martial proceedings despite evidence of unlawful command influence (UCI).
FORT BELVOIR, Virginia -- The Army's Court of Criminal Appeals heard arguments Thursday in the ongoing case of Bowe Bergdahl, with the former soldier's attorneys contending that the case should be reconsidered or Berghdahl should be granted clemency because President Donald Trump's comments and tweets tainted the proceedings.
Bergdahl, the soldier who left his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held captive by a Taliban affiliate for five years, was sentenced in 2017 to reduction in rank from sergeant to private, forfeiture of $10,000 in pay and a dishonorable discharge.
But he received no prison time -- a decision Trump called Nov. 3, 2017 on Twitter "a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military."
The war crimes charges against a San Diego-based Navy SEAL will stand, a Navy judge ruled Friday.
Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward R. Gallagher is facing charges that he killed a wounded teenage ISIS fighter brought to the SEAL's Mosul, Iraq compound for medical treatment in 2017. Gallagher also is accused of shooting at civilians, posing for photos with a corpse and holding his reenlistment ceremony next to the body, according to court documents and prosecutor statements.
Gallagher has denied all the charges and pleaded not guilty.
More cases of military sexual assault are being reported, but fewer are being referred to courts-martial because commanders are increasingly relying on administrative action and discharges for accused offenders, according to the latest report on sexual assaults in the military.
U.S. Navy/ Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Philip Wagner Jr.
The overseer of the Guantanamo war court who was fired without explanation told the 9/11 trial judge in an affidavit obtained by the Miami Herald that he was considering plea deals in the terror case and took a number of other actions.