Mukasey: Obama broke unconstitutional law with Bergdahl swap

Former U.S. attorney general Michael Mukasey said Sunday that President Obama broke a flawed law with the release of five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Obama signed a law last year that requires the president to give Congress a 30-day notice before freeing prisoners from the military detention facility.

“He broke the law, but I believe that the law itself is unconstitutional,” Mukasey said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Article II [of the U.S. Constitution] makes him the commander in chief of the armed forces. These people were in the custody of the armed forces.”

Mukasey, who served as attorney general during the George W. Bush administration, also suggested that the military should try Bergdahl on desertion charges, saying: "You can’t wait to try a case until you know absolutely everything about everything. We know enough.”

He said questions about whether Bergdahl has already suffered enough should “not at all relate to the question of whether he gets tried.”

PostTV and Dan Lamothe of The Washington Post’s new Checkpoint blog point out key moments in the video released by the Taliban showing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's recovery. (Dan Lamothe and Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)
Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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Josh Hicks · June 8