- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on a pretrial hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, charged with endangering the lives of soldiers who searched for him after he left his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl appeared to grit his teeth while defense attorneys played a video exhibit of President Donald Trump’s scathing condemnation of the soldier.

Bergdahl’s attorneys placed their hands on his shoulder at times while they played the video at a pretrial hearing Monday. They played several minutes of footage of Trump calling Bergdahl a “traitor” at different campaign and media appearances.

Defense attorneys argue that Trump violated Bergdahl’s due process rights to a fair trial because of comments Trump made on the campaign trail.

Bergdahl faces charges that he endangered his comrades when he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Military prosecutors say reasonable observers would understand that Trump’s campaign comments should not be taken literally. The judge didn’t immediately rule on a defense motion to dismiss the charges against Bergdahl.

___

9 a.m.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and his attorneys have arrived at a courthouse where they’ll try to convince a military judge that President Donald Trump violated Bergdahl’s due process rights.

Bergdahl wore blue dress pants and a white shirt Monday when he and his lawyers entered the courthouse at Fort Bragg for the 9 a.m. pretrial hearing.

The hearing is expected to focus on statements that Trump made during the presidential campaign. Trump called Bergdahl a “traitor” repeatedly and said he deserved a harsh punishment.

Bergdahl is scheduled for trial in April. He is accused of endangering the lives of soldiers who searched for him after he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Military prosecutors say reasonable observers would understand that Trump’s campaign comments should not be taken literally.

___

3 a.m.

Lawyers for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will try to convince a judge that he cannot get a fair trial on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy because of highly charged statements made by President Donald Trump.

A pretrial hearing Monday before a military judge at Fort Bragg is expected to focus on statements that Trump made during the presidential campaign. Trump called Bergdahl a “traitor” repeatedly and said he deserved a harsh punishment.

Bergdahl is scheduled for trial in April. He is accused of endangering the lives of soldiers who searched for him after he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Military prosecutors say reasonable observers would understand that Trump’s comments amounted to campaign rhetoric and should not be taken literally.


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