Ex-Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, court-martialed in 2017 after being accused of abandoning his post in Afghanistan, filed suit in a bid to get his conviction tossed out.
Fox News reported court papers were filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The suit accuses former President Donald Trump and the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., of exerting “unlawful command influence” over the case.
“The scandalous meddling in a specific case by leaders of the political branches — one of whom was commander-in-chief of the armed forces — would never be tolerated if the proceeding had been a criminal prosecution in this or any other federal district court and should not be tolerated in a court-martial,” the court papers say.
Trump had blasted the decision not to incarcerate Bergdahl after a judge had ruled no prison time for the former army sergeant.
Bergdahl had faced life in prison for deserting his post in Afghanistan in 2009, leading to injuries to fellow servicemen who went searching for him. Prosecutors had recommended 14 years in prison.
McCain had threatened to hold hearings if Bergdahl was not punished.
“Both President Trump and Sen. McCain grossly abused their official authority,” the court papers say.
The suit also claims that a military judge in Bergdahl’s case had not disclosed that he had applied for a high-paying job with the U.S. Justice Department.
Fox News noted that after abandoning his post in June 2009, Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban and held prisoner.