Bergdahl claims 'command influence' by a civilian led to his prosecutions as a deserter

Red States:
American Army deserter, Bowe Bergdahl’s, charges survived President Obama’s swath of pardons during his last week in office, but they may not survive a month of President Donald Trump.

On Monday, defense attorney’s for Bergdahl played a portion of a 28 minute video showing then-candidate for president, Donald Trump, saying repeatedly that Bergdahl is a “traitor.” A video which presiding judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance called “disturbing material.”

Bergdahl’s attorneys, led by Eugene Fidell, contend that the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy should be dropped due to an inability for Bergdahl to receive a fair trial because of Trump’s past comments.

The basis for the dismissal request is that, according to the defense, Trump’s comments constitute “unlawful command influence” over the trial because Donald Trump is now the commander-in-chief of the military. The defense contends that because of his position over the military, his comments may have influenced those deciding the case and the punishment.

The prosecution’s position during Monday’s hearing was that Trump’s comments were made when he was still a private citizen and not the president.

“This was clearly something he said primarily to criticize President [Barack] Obama,” Oshana said, arguing Trump’s words were clearly made to “attack a political opponent for political gain.” The government argued that a review of those who will be seated on the judge panel via voir dire would act as a check to ensure that judges were not biased.
...
Civilians who are not office holders have no command influence.  What is said after they become the chief executive that is relevant and there is no evidence that Trump has said a word about Bergdahl since his election. Obama's deal to get Bergdahl back was one of the more disgraceful aspects of his term in office.  To release several radical Islamic terrorists for an alleged deserter is a very foolish deal.

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