Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | Bowe Bergdahl | jurors | trial | vote

Bergdahl Lawyers Want to Ask Jurors If They Voted for Trump

Image: Bergdahl Lawyers Want to Ask Jurors If They Voted for Trump
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017 04:46 PM

Lawyers for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl want to ask prospective jurors in his court-martial about their opinions on President Donald Trump – including whether they voted for him, Stars and Stripes reported.

The questions, submitted in a private 41-question survey, aim to determine if potential jurors would be influenced by Trump's negative comments on the campaign trail about the onetime Taliban captive, Bergdahl lead lawyer Eugene Fidell argued at a pretrial hearing Wednesday at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the military news outlet reported.

Prosecutors objected to 17 of the questions submitted by the defense team – including the one asking if they voted for Trump.

"The principal issue has to do with ensuring we are able to identify people who have been nominated to be on the court-martial panel — the jury — who are not in a position to render an impartial judgment," Fidell argued.

"Key to that is the whole set of issues surrounding President Trump's outrageous comments throughout the course of his successful campaign for the White House."

But prosecutor Army Maj. Justin Oshana argued against allowing questions about personal politics.

"A person not aware of any of the comments made by Mr. Trump, but who voted for him, is not a prejudice issue," Oshana said.

Stars and Stripes reported candidate Trump made more than 60 negative references to Bergdahl between June 2014 and August 2016 – calling him "a dirty, rotten traitor" and suggesting he ought to be executed or sent back to his captors.

As president, Trump has made no public mention of Bergdahl, Stars and Stripes reported.

The judge overseeing the case, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, called Trump's statements "disturbing" and potentially "problematic," but last February, he declined to dismiss the case over them.

He said he would decide which questions he would allow before the end of next week, when the questionnaires go out to a pool of prospective jurors, the news outlet reported.

"You are going to get to ask most of the [submitted] questions in written form," Nance told Bergdahl's defense team – though it was unclear whether he would allow them to ask if they voted for Trump, Stars and Stripes reported.

Bergdahl remains on active duty in a clerical job at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

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Lawyers for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl want to ask prospective jurors in his court-martial about their opinions on President Donald Trump – including whether they voted for him, Stars and Stripes reported.
Bowe Bergdahl, jurors, trial, vote
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2017-46-21
Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017 04:46 PM
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