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Judge Rules No Jail for Bergdahl, Trump Slams Sentence As 'Complete Disgrace'

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U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. - U.S. ARMY
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was spared prison time Friday when a military judge sentenced the Idaho native to a dishonorable discharge from the Army. The sentencing from Colonel Jeffrey Nance will still need to be reviewed by General Robert Abrams, who convened the court-martial, but Nance also said Bergdahl's rank should be reduced to a private. If Bergdahl's rank is reduced, he'll also be required to forfeit $1,000 a month of his pay for 10 months.

The New York Times reports Friday's sentencing took only minutes, with the judge entering the courtroom, reading the verdict, and leaving shortly thereafter.

Bergdahl went missing in June of 2009, and was subsequently captured by the Taliban. Bergdahl spent five years as a captive before he was freed in May of 2014 following a prisoner swap that angered members of Congress and some members of his former unit. Bergdahl was released in exchange for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay. After an investigation into the circumstances of his capture, prosecutors decided to accuse Bergdahl of desertion.

President Donald Trump wasted little time in reacting to Bergdahl's sentencing, calling the ruling "a complete disgrace." While running for president, Trump repeatedly condemned Bergdahl, calling him a traitor and deserter.
Upon reading Trump's comments, Bergdahl's attorneys said they would seek a dismissal of Bergdahl's conviction, citing the president's remarks.

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