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Report: Bowe Bergdahl To Plead Guilty

Report: Bowe Bergdahl To Plead Guilty Promo Image

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will plead guilty to two charges of desertion and misbehaving before the enemy, according to a report.

Such a plea would mean that Bergdahl would not face a trial later in October, according to The Associated Press.

Bergdahl left his post without authorization in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban. He was held for almost five years before his release was secured in exchange for five Taliban prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Bergdahl said he was beaten, caged and tortured.

Bergdahl has been accused of putting the lives of American soldiers at risk, as they had to look for him after his disappearance.

Bergdahl argued that he wanted to draw attention to problems he thought existed with the Army post. A medical assessment concluded that Bergdahl, who was 23 when he allegedly deserted, suffered from schizotypal personality disorder.

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The military refused to confirm if it was aware of Bergdahl's intentions.

"We continue to maintain careful respect for the military-judicial process, the rights of the accused, and ensuring the case's fairness and impartiality during this ongoing legal case," military spokesman Paul Boyce told The Associated Press.

Bergdahl's release was secured under the Obama administration. President Obama met Bergdahl's parents at the White House and said that the U.S. does not "leave our men or women behind."

"Whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity," Obama added. "Period. Full stop."

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But current President Donald Trump took a different tone. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he denounced Bergdahl for his actions.

"We're tired of Sgt. Bergdahl, who's a traitor, a no-good traitor, who should have been executed," Trump said at a campaign rally.

At another rally in Massachusetts, Trump mimed the use of a gun with his hands when discussing Bergdahl.

"“What do we do with Sgt. Bergdahl, 50 years ago?" Trump said, according to The Washington Post. "That's right. Boom. Boom! Boom, he's gone. He's gone!"

After Trump took office in January, Bergdahl's attorneys sought to argue that Trump's previous comments violated the soldier's right to due process.

While the judge in Bergdahl's case described Trump's remarks as "disturbing and disappointing," he determined that they did not prejudice the case.

Bergdahl faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the desertion charge. Misbehaving before the enemy carries a life sentence.

In addition, Bergdahl would face a dishonorable discharge from the military if found guilty. He is currently on desk duty at a Texas military facility.

Sentencing is due to start Oct. 23.

Sources: The Associated Press via CBS News, The Washington Post / Featured Image: De'Yonte Mosley/ via Wikimedia Commons / Featured Image: United States Army/Wikimedia Commons, Alex Hanson/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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