Senate Intel Chairwoman regrets lack of notice on prisoner swap
Tuesday, June 03, 2014 - 01:28
June 3 - Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein calls out the Obama administration for failing to give lawmakers 30 days notice on Bowe Bergdahl's release. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein expressed her disappointment in the Obama administration on Tuesday (June 3) for failing to give lawmakers 30 days notice on the deal to swap five Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo detention center for captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl.
"Now, I understand (and I believe the vice chairman does as well) that there are circumstances when the president needs to act quickly. And that his article 2 powers allow him to do so. However, I also believe that given the past briefings, and concerns that we had addressed, and these were from both committees -- and the leadership of both committees -- the concerns were bipartisan, and I strongly believe that we should have been consulted, that the law should have been followed. And I very much regret that was not the case," said Feinstein.
Republicans lawmakers are demanding hearings into whether Obama violated the law by not consulting Congress over the deal.
But Obama told a news conference in Poland that "regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity. Period. Full stop."
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the administration decided the 30-day notice period did not apply to "this unique set of circumstances, in which the transfer would secure the release of a captive U.S. soldier" and the secretary of defense has determined that providing notice could "endanger the soldier's life."
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