Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdal is facing a court martial, military brass and the defendant’s lawyer told NBC News.
Berghdal, who was captured by the Taliban after he left his post in Afghanistan back in June 2009, was charged in March with desertion and a misbehavior before the enemy — charges that carry a potential life sentence.
“I had hoped the case would not go in this direction,” defense attorney Eugene Fidell said in a statement. “We will continue to defend Sgt. Bergdahl as the case proceeds.”
Fidell also urged Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who has called Berghdal a traitor who should be executed, to butt out of the case.
“We again ask that Donald Trump cease his prejudicial months-long campaign of defamation against our client,” he wrote.
Berghdal fell into Taliban hands after he vanished on June 30, 2009 from a post in the remote Paktika Province. He was released in May in a prisoner swap for five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay.
The Army’ began their investigation after Bergdahl was returned to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where he’s been working a desk job.