The Denver Post - - NEWS -

wash­ing­ton» U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the for­mer pris­oner of war who’s ac­cused of en­dan­ger­ing com­rades by walk­ing off his post in Afghanistan, is ask­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to par­don him be­fore leav­ing of­fice.

White House and Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cials said Satur­day that Bergdahl had submitted copies of the clemency re­quest seek­ing le­niency. If granted by Obama, it would al­low Bergdahl to avert a mil­i­tary trial sched­uled for April, at which he faces charges of de­ser­tion and mis­be­hav­ior be­fore the en­emy. The mis­be­hav­ior charge car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of life in pri­son.

If the par­don isn’t granted, Bergdahl’s de­fense team said it will ex­pand its le­gal strat­egy to the new ad­min­is­tra­tion by fil­ing a mo­tion ar­gu­ing Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump vi­o­lated his due process rights with scathing pub­lic com­ments about the case.

The par­don re­quest to Obama, first re­ported by The New York Times, was con­firmed by White House and Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cials who weren’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the mat­ter by name.

Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held cap­tive by the Tal­iban and its al­lies for five years. The Associated Press

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl ar­rives for a pre­trial hear­ing at Fort Bragg, N.C., in Jan­uary. AP file

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