Levin blocks resolution to investigate prisoner swap

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) blocked Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) from passing a resolution that would have required an investigation into a recent prisoner swap.

“The American people deserve answers,” Portman said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “If we take no action, I do not believe this will be the last illegal transfer of detainee.”

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Portman’s resolution would have allowed Congress to investigate President Obama’s decision to release five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo in exchange for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

The White House was suppose to get congressional approval before making the exchange with the Taliban, which was holding Bergdahl prisoner. But the administration failed to do so, ruffling many feathers on Capitol Hill.

Portman asked unanimous consent to pass S.Res. 469, but Levin — who is Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee — objected because he said the resolution language “prejudged” that Obama’s actions were illegal.

"I think he could have done a better job of notifying Congress, but that’s not the question," Levin said. "The question is whether he acted illegally. … The Department of Justice told him he could act."

Within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the administration is suppose give at least a 30 day notice, except when it can jeopardize the life of U.S. citizens. The administration said it made the deal with the Taliban because Bergdahl appeared to be in dire health.

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