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Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:48:22 +0000
(WASHINGTON) -- Following a briefing from White House officials, House Republicans Monday claimed they learned nothing new about the circumstances surrounding the deal that led to the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from his Taliban captors.
If anything, GOP lawmakers seem more intent about holding the Obama administration's feet to the fire about what the urgency was to swap Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and why Congress was not informed beforehand about the proposed deal as required by law.
There were some expressions of sympathy for the plight of Berghdal and his family but they were overshadowed by accusations from North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones and others that President Obama was in possible violation of the Constitution for keeping lawmakers in the dark about trading terrorists for a single American hostage.
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said she was incensed to find out that 80 to 90 executive branch officials in the Pentagon, rather than members of Congress, were told about the swap ahead of time.
Bachmann also remarked that the White House contradicted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's contention that he was the only congressional leader who knew about the arrangement to free Bergdahl after five years of captivity beforehand.
The soldier, then a private, is alleged to have walked away from his military post in Afghanistan five years ago, with some former members of his unit branding Bergdahl a deserter.
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