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Bergdahl judge says he can be fair despite Trump


Published: Mon, October 23, 2017 @ 6:51 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The military judge deciding Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's punishment says comments by President Donald Trump haven't swayed him but he's worried about public perception of the military justice system.

Sentencing for Bergdahl on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy was set to begin today, but the judge instead heard arguments about a last-minute Trump-related motion. The sentencing case is scheduled to resume Wednesday.

The defense filed a last-minute motion saying comments the president made after Bergdahl pleaded guilty show he can't get a fair sentence with the Republican as commander in chief.

Trump harshly criticized Bergdahl on the campaign trail, and recently told reporters he thinks the public is aware of what he said. Prosecutors argue the most recent comments didn't reaffirm what he said before.

But the judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, said members of the public could have concerns about fairness in light of Trump's comments.


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