Maybe the timing of these developments is just a coincidence, but from one news report (here) we learn that trial in the Bergdahl case will be delayed until May because:
Prosecutors filed a motion in October requesting a trial delay. They cited the pace at which they’re able to get approval to give the defense classified evidence as a main reason for the delay.
And from another news report (here) we learn that the defense is positively giddy because it sees the election of Donald Trump to the presidency as an uncurable error:
“We’re deadly serious about seeking a dismissal,” Eugene R. Fidell told The Fayetteville Observer on Wednesday. “There’s never been a presidential candidate who singled out a military member for this kind of abuse before. It’s never happened.”
Deadly serious is an unfortunate choice of words considering that the classified evidence addressed first report includes evidence of soldiers who were allegedly injured during search and rescue missions for Bergdahl:
Former Army Spc. Jonathan Morita also testified Monday, according to the AP, describing when an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade smashed into a rifle he was holding with the force of a hammer onto his hand.
“I looked at it, and I thought, ‘That’s going to hurt in the morning.’ I didn’t feel it. Too much adrenaline,” he testified, according to the AP report.
Defense attorneys have said it was the Taliban, not Bergdahl, who caused the injuries.
And then there’s this (from the second news report):
[Retired Army JAG and law professor Victor M.] Hansen said the bigger challenge for Bergdahl’s lawyers may be to overcome the intense pretrial publicity. Bergdahl was the subject of the second season of a popular podcast, “Serial,” that played tapes of an interview Bergdahl did with a filmmaker explaining he walked off his base to cause a crisis that would catch the attention of military brass.
Deep in the category of it’s never happened before is Bergdahl’s decision to talk with filmmaker Mark Boal for long enough to produce 25 hours of recorded conversations. Conversations that were shared with the Serial podcast (presumably with Bergdahl’s permission). Conversations that include some incredibly damaging statements, as discussed in our #8 Military Justice Story of 2015.
But Bergdahl has a Trump card.