Republicans intend to highlight the controversial trade for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to mount an attack on President Obama’s foreign policy.
The Army’s moves to charge the solider with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy have given Republicans a new opportunity to challenge Obama’s decision last year to secure his freedom by releasing five senior Taliban commanders from Guantánamo Bay.
Republicans say the president paid too high a price for Bergdahl’s return, especially since the five former detainees will be released from house arrest in Qatar in a few months. At least one of the former detainees is reportedly already suspected of returning to the fight.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee turned up the heat on Friday by sending a letter to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough that requests documents and information related to the swap.
The letter also requests documents and information related to comments by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who days after the trade was announced said Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction.”
The letter was sent by Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and National Security Subcommittee Chairman Ron DeSantis (D-Fla.).
The pending release of the former detainees in June, as well as the Army’s process for charging Bergdahl, could keep the controversial prisoner swap front and center for months to come.
According to Bergdahl’s lawyer Eugene Fidell, the Army has scheduled a preliminary hearing for Bergdahl on April 22. The hearing will determine whether the charges will be dismissed, lead to a court-martial, or some other outcome.
In the days after the Army’s announcement, Republicans released a barrage of statements questioning the administration’s ability to make sound foreign policy decisions.
Read More:GOP puts Bergdahl swap on trial | TheHill.