Murkowski: Obama Administration’s Bergdahl Transfer Broke Law, According to Independent Report

Senator Says President Can’t Override Checks and Balances

ANCHORAGE, AK – Senator Lisa Murkowski today shared the findings of a U.S. Government Accountability Office legal opinion into the administration's controversial negotiations with the Taliban for the release of Bowe Bergdahl.  The GAO inquiry – done at her and a number of her U.S. Senate colleagues’ request – found that the Obama Administration broke federal law when the Pentagon swapped five high-risk Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay for the release of Bergdahl without providing advance notification to Congress as is required by law. The GAO legal opinion can be viewed by clicking here

In response to the GAO legal opinion, Senator Murkowski said:

“When the President signed the 2014 defense authorization and appropriations bills into law, he understood it was illegal to transfer or release Guantanamo inmates without 30 days advance Congressional notification - and within months he clearly defied this very law.  We have all seen the President decide to override the concept of checks and balances in many questionable executive actions, but the GAO opinion confirms that by doing so in connection with the release of Bowe Bergdahl, he engaged in a clear violation of the law.  I hope this opinion by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office sends a clear signal to the President that his recent shift towards unilateral action is not consistent with this nation's principles and our carefully designed separation of powers."

Senator Murkowski's initial letter can be found by clicking here.