Hagel faces House panel over Bergdahl trade

Hagel faces House panel over Bergdahl trade

Expect tough questions when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faces the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will be in the hot seat Wednesday morning as a House committee asks him about last month's trade of American soldier Bowe Bergdahl for five members of the Taliban.

The Obama administration says it couldn't leave a soldier behind, but it has taken heat from both parties. Some lawmakers complain the United States gave up too much, or that it can't guarantee that the five Taliban commanders will stay away from the battlefield. Other arguments from critics: The White House should have informed Congress ahead of time, or the White House negotiated with terrorists in opposition to longstanding policy.

The House Armed Services Committee hearing begins at 10 a.m. ET.
Follow highlights of the proceedings below, and check out the full story.
    Welcome to today's live blog of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

    He'll testify about the United States' trade for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and the hearing's title -- "The May 31, 2014 Transfer of Five Senior Taliban Detainees" -- may point you to one of the aspects that is bugging some lawmakers.

    Expect some fireworks, for the reasons mentioned at the top of this page.

    The hearing starts at 10 a.m. -- stay with this blog for updates. You also can catch some of the hearing live on CNN.

    Setting the stage: What the transfer looked like

    The Taliban captured Bergdahl in Afghanistan in 2009. Some of his fellow soldiers allege he was captured because he intentionally left his post; Obama administration officials have said that issue will be investigated.

    When the swap did happen May 31, the Taliban had a camera rolling. Here is what the transfer looked like:
    Setting the stage: Hagel's previous comments

    Before we get to Hagel's testimony, it'd be good to note some of what Hagel has said before about the swap. On June 4, he said it would be "unfair" to judge the solider (video below). That comment came as some of Bergdahl's fellow soldiers alleged he was captured five years ago because he walked off his base.
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