More officials to join Senate Bergdahl briefing

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday announced that additional Defense Department officials will attend a closed-door briefing next week on the controversial prisoner exchange for Army Sgt. Bow Bergdahl.

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Joining the session on Tuesday will be Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Adm. James Winnefeld and Michael Lumpkin, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

Work and Winnefeld were two of the administration officials who held a classified briefing on Wednesday for all senators about the prisoner swap with the Taliban. Many senators walked away from the meeting unconvinced of President Obama’s reasons for making the deal.

Earlier this week the Senate panel announced the June 10 briefing would include Stephen Preston, Defense Department general counsel, Michael Dumont, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, and Army Brig. Gen. Robert White, director of the Pakistan/Afghanistan coordination cell within the U.S. Joint Staff.

The House Armed Services Committee plans to hold an open hearing about the trade on June 11 that will feature Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Preston, the Pentagon’s counsel.