McKeon: Congress Will Hold Hearings on Bergdahl-for-Terrorists Swap
U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl was freed from Taliban captivity in exchange for the release of five leading Taliban members from Gitmo. Now, Republicans in Congress are calling the Obama administration’s move illegal.
In a statement, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) said, “In executing this transfer, the President also clearly violated laws which require him to notify Congress thirty days before any transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay and to explain how the threat posed by such terrorists has been substantially mitigated. Our joy at Sergeant Bergdahl’s release is tempered by the fact that President Obama chose to ignore the law, not to mention sound policy, to achieve it.”
Rep. McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, gave his reaction to the exchange on America’s Newsroom.
He cited the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed with bipartisan support that calls on the president to notify Congress at least 30 days prior to the release of detainees from Gitmo.
“We still have not been told what they’re going to do to ensure that these top five Taliban leaders don't re-enter the fight,” McKeon said, adding that the blood of thousands of Afghans and Americans are on the terrorists' hands.
Contrary to the administration’s claims, McKeon said Congress was not told about negotiations pertaining to Bergdahl’s release.
McKeon said the House will be holding hearings to look into the deal. “This president has a reputation, I think well deserved, of deciding which laws he’s going to enforce.”
He added, “We just are in the dark and that is a violation of law. […] It really is kind of ironic because this is kind of playing out much like Benghazi where they kind of do or don’t do something and then come up with a story afterwards of why they did or didn’t do something.”
Watch the interview above, plus tune in tonight for much more reaction to the prisoner swap, which will be the subject of Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo, tonight at 8/11p ET. Then, The Kelly File gets reaction from Dick Cheney and two U.S. soldiers who were serving alongside Bergdahl on the day he went missing.