Bergdahl Pleads Guilty To Charges Of Desertion, Misbehavior

U.S. Army  Getty Images In this undated image provided by the U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses in front of an American flag

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of desertion with intention to shirk duty and misbehavior before the enemy stemming from his 2009 disappearance and capture by the Taliban. Despite his plea, the prosecution and defense have not agreed to a stipulation of facts in the case, according to one of his lawyers, Maj.

Bergdahl spent five years in captivity by the Taliban in Afghanistan after walking off his post in 2009.

While Berghdahl's pleas enable him to avoid a trial, he'll still face a sentencing hearing scheduled to begin October 23.

President Donald Trump repeatedly said during his presidential campaign that Bergdahl was a traitor, and claimed he should have been shot.

Asked about Bergdahl's guilty plea on Monday, Trump said: "I'm not going to comment on him, but I think people have heard my comments in the past". Bergdahl's five years of captivity by the Taliban and its allies also will likely factor into what punishment he receives.

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Bergdahl drew global headlines after he left his Army outpost in Afghanistan over eight years ago. Attorneys for Bergdahl requested to have potential jurors answer questions about the president in a pre-trial questionnaire, though the trial's judge declined in June an attempt to include the question of whether those potential jurors voted for Trump.

Bergdahl has said he never intended to join the enemy but instead meant to go to another base to report problems in his military unit. He was soon captured.

It wasn't immediately clear whether his defense has conceded that he's responsible for a long chain of events that his desertion prompted, which included many decisions by others on how to conduct the searches.

Sergeant Bergdahl, 31, was held captive by the Taliban for five years before the Obama administration traded him in 2014 for five Taliban detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Facing Republican criticism, Obama noted that the USA doesn't leave its service members behind.

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