Tags: Afghanistan | Al-Qaida | Bowe Bergdahl Freed | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | Michael Tomasky

Journalist Tomasky: GOP Looking for Crime in Bergdahl Deal

Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 02:48 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

President Barack Obama "politically mishandled" aspects of the swap of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban terrorists — but Republicans are also chomping at the bit to find criminality in it, says Michael Tomasky, a special correspondent for The Daily Beast.

"There are legitimate questions to raise about this, and there's definitely ways in which this was politically mishandled by the White House,'' Tomasky told "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Newsmax TV.

"You know having the [Bergdahl] family come to the White House and appear with Obama, that was a big mistake.''

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He added that if GOP lawmakers want to fire off  "legitimate questions'' about the trade, that is appropriate.

"But something tells me that that's not where this is going. This is a hunt for a slip-up that can be converted into a high crime or misdemeanor, that's what this is," said Tomasky, who is also editor-in-chief of the quarterly journal, "Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.''

He dismissed U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's suggestion that he could consider impeachment proceedings against the president because he failed to notify Congress about the deal.

"You know what Lindsey Graham would say if Mitt Romney were the president and did the same thing? Nothing,'' Tomasky said. "He would say Article II of the Constitution, you know that.''

Tomasky said it was proper to obtain the release of Bergdahl.

"If he’s a deserter, he’s a deserter; I don't care one way or the other. I'm just saying that he should be brought home and that you know, a price has to be negotiated for bringing him home,'' he said.

"That price was arrived at, and if people think that price was too high then you know, maybe it was, I mean that's a fair question.''

Tomasky said those who oppose the Bergdahl deal want to have it both ways.

"Whatever [Obama] would've done, they'd be against it, and you know that if this kid had died over there everybody would be saying, 'Oh Obama's weak, Obama's weak, Obama's this, Obama's that,''' he said.

"I'm against ginning up … and looking for a high crime and misdemeanor. These are political judgments, these are extremely difficult political judgments. You can disagree with them, but they're not grounds for impeachment.''

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