Judge won't dismiss Bergdahl case over Sen. McCain comments

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A military judge has rejected efforts to dismiss the desertion case against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl over comments made by U.S. Sen. John McCain.

Berdahl's lawyers argued that McCain improperly influenced the case by telling a reporter in 2015 that his Senate committee would hold a hearing if Bergdahl weren't punished.

Bergdahl walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and wound up in captivity of the Taliban and its allies for five years.

He is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Trial is scheduled for February 2017 at Fort Bragg.

Army judge Col. Jeffery Nance denied the defense motion to dismiss charges against Bergdahl. Nance writes that no reasonable observer would conclude the senator made the prosecution unfair because McCain has no direct power over the court-martial.