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Lawyers debate if Bergdahl can get a fair trial after Trump's campaign-trail comments

Posted at 12:43 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 14:43:18-05

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 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina They played several minutes of footage of Trump calling Bergdahl a "traitor" at various 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.

Bergdahl is scheduled for trial in April.

(by Associated Press)