Image copyright AP
By MICHAEL BIESECKER
Copyright The Associated Press
RALEIGH, N.C. --- A military judge was considering Monday whether a top lawyer at the Pentagon unlawfully interfered in the case against a brigadier general charged with sexual assault, threatening the high-profile court-martial.
The latest twist in the case comes at a time when the Pentagon and Congress are grappling with the problem of sexual assaults within the military ranks.
After lawyers for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair presented the new evidence Monday morning, military judge Col. James Pohl dismissed the jury for the rest of the day. Pohl then heard arguments and testimony about whether he should dismiss some or all of the remaining charges against Sinclair.
At issue is an email chain from December between the prosecution team at Fort Bragg and a top Pentagon lawyer regarding a potential plea deal that was ultimately rejected. It is unlawful in the military justice system for senior commanders outside the chain of command to interfere in prosecutorial decisions.