Jacksonville’s Congressman is weighing in on the President’s decision to exchange a U.S. Army soldier for several Taliban members.
18th District Representative Aaron Schock appeared on FOX News’ “On the Record” last night to discuss the exchange that involved Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by a group aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan for almost five years, in exchange for five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
The exchange took place last Saturday without any notice given to Congress, and Schock thinks he knows why.
“He knew what our answer was going to be, because for two years, Diane Feinstein, the top Democrat in the Senate, had written to the White House, had written to the Defense Department, and said absolutely not, unequivocally, would she support trading terrorists for Mr. Bergdahl,” says Schock.
“They already knew what the answer would be when asking permission- which is what was required by law, that the White House deal with Congress- and so they chose rather than to get the answer that they didn’t want, they just wouldn’t ask the question and instead violate the law.”
Schock says President Obama’s disregard for the legislative branch is unprecedented.
“Certainly, a guy who was a former constitutional law professor from Chicago ought to know better, and certainly someone who campaigned saying the Bush administration had overreached in its executive powers- and he was going to reign that in- he’s doubled down and been far worse than any president in the history of our country,” claims Schock.
Schock calls the release “a huge mistake,” saying the five inviduals that were handed over into Qatari custody were known terrorists with “significant intelligence and planning responsibilities.”
“The President has said we had a responsibility to get out our POWs. Well, absolutely we do, but not at any cost,” he says.
“The enormous precedent that this sets moving forward, I fear not only for our military safety, but quite frankly, for all Americans who travel, who vacation overseas, who might be taken captive in an attempt to exchange for more terrorists at Gitmo or others that we might detain,” Schock adds.
Congressional and administration officials say fears that the Taliban might kill Bergdahl led the Obama administration not to notify Congress in advance about the deal to swap him for the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, but the officials say there was no overt threat.
Bergdahl was sent to a U.S. military hospital in Germany, according to Associated Press reports.