Army court rules Trump did not unlawfully prejudice Bowe Bergdahl trial

An Army appeals court ruled Tuesday that tweets from President Trump attacking U.S. Army soldier Bowe Berghdahl did not unlawfully influence his trial for desertion, according to CNN.

Bergdahl’s attorneys had argued that tweets and public statements from Trump describing their client as “a no-good traitor who should have been executed” unduly influenced the case, and that Bergdahl was entitled to have a court reconsider the case or grant clemency as a result.

{mosads}A three-judge Army Court of Criminal Appeals panel rejected the argument 2-1, according to the network.

“Although there was some evidence of unlawful command influence adduced at trial and in the post-trial process, the government met its burden to demonstrate that an objective disinterested observer would not harbor a significant doubt as to the fairness of the proceedings,” the majority opinion stated.

Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s lead counsel, told CNN the decision was not the end of the matter.

“We are confident that one judge saw the UCI issue our way. We will be seeking review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and we are working actively on the required papers,” Fidell said.

Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009, was released in 2014 in exchange for five former Guantanamo Bay detainees. He pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy in 2017. The presiding judge sentenced him to be demoted from sergeant to private, dishonorably discharged and fined him $10,000.

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