Lawyers for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl filed a motion Monday seeking the dismissal of all charges facing their client, claiming statements on the case made by Arizona Sen. John McCain have violated Bergdahl's right to due process.
McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reportedly called Bergdahl "clearly a deserter" during an October 2015 campaign appearance for fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was then seeking his party's presidential nomination. At the same New Hampshire event, McCain pledged his panel would investigate the incident if the Army didn't punish Bergdahl.
Bergdahl's lawyers argue that these statements, and others listed in Monday's court filing, will prevent their client from receiving a fair trial.
"It is difficult to imagine a more blatant threat to the fair administration of justice than the one Sen. McCain uttered," the filing states.
Bergdahl walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was in captivity for five years before a prisoner swap led to his freedom in exchange for that of five Taliban inmates held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was charged in 2015 with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
The trial is set to begin in February.