Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

Chambliss Wants Special Counsel to Investigate Obama on Bergdahl Swap

Chambliss Bowe Bergdahl Taliban Five

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee wants a special counsel to investigate President Barack Obama’s swap of five Taliban members for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

An aide to Sen. Saxby Chambliss told CQ Roll Call in an email Thursday that the Georgia Republican wants the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to investigate the prisoner swap, which the Government Accountability Office contended earlier Thursday violated federal law.

The GAO opinion said the administration violated the notice requirement for transfers out of the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Antideficiency Act, which is the federal law barring spending without appropriated funds. The Defense Department has contended that the notice requirement is unconstitutional.

The aide’s email came after Chambliss sent out a statement Thursday pointing to the GAO opinion, which came at the request of Republicans.

“This legal decision further validates the argument I have been making with many of my colleagues against the administration’s release of the Taliban Five,” Chambliss said. “By failing to notify Congress 30 days in advance as required by the FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act, the president completely disregarded laws duly passed by Congress and signed by his own hand.

“In addition to simply violating the notification requirement, the administration has violated the Antideficiency Act by obligating funds that were not legally available. While the president has a habit of ignoring laws relating to domestic policy, such as healthcare and immigration, this latest overreach regarding our national security has dangerous implications. The United States has a long-standing policy of not negotiating with terrorists for good reason, and these senior Taliban leaders will soon rejoin the fight, as they have stated publicly multiple times.”

Chambliss’ release notes federal employees who violate the Antideficiency Act can face administrative and criminal sanctions.

The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment Thursday on the possibility of a grand jury in either Washington, D.C., or Alexandria, Va., pursuing the matter.

Comments (52)

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  1. Sally

    Aug. 21, 2014
    11:09 p.m.

    God. Anything to keep from doing their jobs. These people are sick.

  2. disqusux

    Aug. 22, 2014
    12:26 a.m.

    yup, Bubba wants that Big Gubmint all right, just not helping

  3. Raylusk

    Aug. 22, 2014
    1:43 a.m.

    Most Americans don’t give a rats rear that Congress wasn’t notified. Congress is completely dysfunctional and has a less than 15% approval rating. And along comes this jack a$$ Senator who seems determined to make that rating even lower. If he gets reelected his constituents should be ashamed of themselves. It’s anti Obama all the time for these traitors and never about doing the right thing. By the way I believe Reagan negotiated the release of hostages. I bet that’s OK with this goober.

  4. Leota2

    Aug. 22, 2014
    5:45 a.m.

    Way to go after the President for getting an American soldier released.
    Do these people have nothing to do but keep trying to put Barack Obama
    in prison or out of office? I swear if the administration came up with a cure
    for cancer they’d try to get him impeached for putting oncologists out of
    business.

    • Layla

      Aug. 27, 2014
      8:38 a.m.

      This president is a long way from ever curing cancer or much else. Our borders are WIDE OPEN and the world is in chaos. Where is Obama? On the golf course.

  5. Gyst53

    Sept. 9, 2014
    4:58 p.m.

    Check out why these Army Promotions occurred and you may uncover some interesting “cover-up” connections…. Army Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl promoted while in captivity to Specialist to Sargent in 5 years…

    “We will give him all the support he needs to help him recover from this ordeal,” the secretary added, “and we are grateful that he will soon be reunited with his family.” Also, Hagel said he informed Congress of the decision to transfer five detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar. “The United States has coordinated closely with Qatar to ensure that security measures are in place and the national security of the United States will not be compromised,” Hagel said. “I appreciate the efforts of the Emir of Qatar to put these measures in place and I want to thank him for his instrumental role in facilitating the return of Sgt. Bergdahl,” the secretary acknowledged. (My Comment: To whom did the US just release the Gitmo terrorists? Qatar? Coincidence?)

    One of Hagel’s first acts upon taking office in February 2013 was to call the Bergdahl family about their son’s situation, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said during a January press
    conference. In June 2011 the Army announced that it had promoted Bergdahl to the rank of sergeant. http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=122375
    Major Gen. Robert P. Ashley is a career intelligence officer who has served in
    numerous intelligence functions during his career to include assignments at
    Fort Bragg, N.C., Washington, D.C., Fort Gordon, Ga., MacDill Air Force Base,
    Fla., Izmir, Turkey, as well deployments to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and
    Afghanistan. He has held command positions at the company, battalion and
    brigade levels and served in senior intelligence positions with the Army Joint
    Special Operations Command and the U.S. Central Command. He comes to
    Intelligence Center of Excellence from being the senior intelligence officer in
    Afghanistan. http://www.svherald.com/content/news/2013/04/20/351644 Why all the promotions for being a captive/deserter/traitor and those overseeing the
    episode… keeping silent and being rewarded?

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