MILITARY

Bergdahl case presents early legal test of Trump rhetoric

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at a rally in Las Vegas.  Trump’s scathing criticism of Bergdahl will prevent the soldier from getting a fair trial on charges he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan, Bergdahl’s attorneys said Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. In a motion filed shortly after Trump was sworn in, defense lawyers asked a military judge to dismiss the charges against Bergdahl and argued the Republican violated his due process rights and military law against unlawful command influence. (AP Photo/John Locher)

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at a rally in Las Vegas. Trump’s scathing criticism of Bergdahl will prevent the soldier from getting a fair trial on charges he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan, Bergdahl’s attorneys said Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. In a motion filed shortly after Trump was sworn in, defense lawyers asked a military judge to dismiss the charges against Bergdahl and argued the Republican violated his due process rights and military law against unlawful command influence. (AP Photo/John Locher)  (The Associated Press)

A military court will be among the first to weigh the real-world consequences of President Donald Trump's fiery rhetoric as Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl argues he can't get a fair trial under his new commander-in-chief.

Minutes into the Republican president's term, lawyers for Bergdahl cited Trump's scathing criticism in a request to dismiss charges that Bergdahl endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan.

The motion filed Friday argues Trump violated his due process rights by repeatedly calling him a traitor.

The motion notes more than 40 instances of Trump's criticism at public appearances and in media interviews through August 2016.

Legal scholars say the defense makes a strong argument but the judge may feel pressure to keep the case alive.