Retired Lt. Col. stands by report that decision to charge Bergdahl was made, Army denies claim

After the Pentagon denied independent reports by Fox News and NBC News that it would charge Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as a deserter, the Fox News source in the story appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” and said “I stand by all of those facts.”

“They don’t deny the material findings of … what I said was in the report,” former Army Lt. Col. Tony Schaffer told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly Tuesday of the Pentagon’s statement. “They’re being very careful how they parse their words.”

The former intelligence officer continued, “Bergdahl’s lawyer has been given a statement of charges — a charge sheet — saying, this is what to expect. We’re coming.”

He reiterated what he’d told O’Reilly Monday night — that a decision to charge the sergeant with desertion had been made — it just hadn’t been formally announced.

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“They said there’s no time limit on this decision. [Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John] Kirby even said there’s no pressure … Of course, the moment you say that, there’s pressure,” Shaffer, who is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research said. “What they didn’t say was more compelling than their denial.”

NBC News confirmed Schaffer’s claims Tuesday morning prior to the Pentagon’s denial, citing “senior defense officials” as saying that charges will be officially announced soon, perhaps within a week.

However, Maj. Gen. Ronald F. Lewis, the Army’s chief of public affairs, was firm in his statement Tuesday afternoon calling the reports “patently false.”

“To be clear there have been no actions or decisions on the Sgt. Bergdahl investigation,” he said. “The investigation is still with the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command who will determine appropriate action — which ranges from no further action to convening a court martial.”

Watch the interview, via Fox News above.

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