- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2014

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is introducing a resolution saying that the president overstepped his reach in approving the Gitmo detainee trade for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without consulting Congress.

Rep. Scott Rigell, Virginia Republican and one of the resolution’s supporters, said Thursday that the provision in the annual defense policy bill to give Congress 30 days notice before releasing anyone from Guantanamo Bay is “a serious matter.”

“The president and secretary made no attempt to comply with that,” Mr. Rigell said on MSNBC. “It was a complete repudiation of Congress, I think. We have a bipartisan group that is determined to stop the president from using more executive overreach.”

He said intelligence and defense leaders in Congress made it clear years ago that they shouldn’t approve a trade that involved top Taliban leaders, and that more oversight was needed in this case to stop the trade.

In addition to Mr. Rigell, the other three lawmakers supporting the resolution criticizing the trade are: Reps. Reid Ribble, Wisconsin Republican; John Barrow, Georgia Democrat; and Nick Rahall, West Virginia Democrat.

While some said the release of five prisoners was a first step for the president to make good on his promise to close the Cuban detention facility, Mr. Rigell said he supported holding prisoners even after the wars end if they continue to post a threat to Americans.

“There are other legal foundations upon which we can continue to hold someone who is a direct threat to the United States. It is not a controversial issue in my mind to protect the American people,” he said.

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