U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl will serve no prison time for desertion, despite walking away from his post to join the Taliban and letting six U.S. Army soldiers die looking for him.
The Associated Press reports:
[Col. Jeffery Nance] gave Bergdahl a dishonorable discharge, reduced his rank to private and said he must forfeit pay equal to $1,000 per month for 10 months. The judge made no other comments…
…Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and had faced up to life in prison. The judge had wide leeway because Bergdahl made no deal with prosecutors to limit his sentence.
Nance blamed Donald Trump’s tweets criticizing Bergdahl for the lighter sentence, claiming before the hearing “I will consider the President’s comments as mitigation evidence as I arrive at an appropriate sentence.”
There was no jury for Trump to influence and Bergdahl was arrested and charged prior to Trump’s election.
Bergdahl told the British media he was treated better by the Taliban than he had been by the United States during his military service.