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Hagel testifies Wednesday on Taliban prisoner swap

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will face angry lawmakers Wednesday as he becomes the first Obama administration official to testify publicly about the controversial prisoner swap with the Taliban.

Hagel is scheduled to appear before the House Armed Services Committee, which is investigating the deal that secured the end of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's five-year captivity. In exchange, the U.S. transferred five high-level Taliban detainees to the Gulf emirate of Qatar.

Republicans and some Democrats have sharply criticized the Obama administration for not notifying Congress in advance. They've accused the president of breaking the law.

Other questions center on whether Bergdahl deserted and whether the U.S. gave up too much for his freedom. Members of Congress have cited intelligence suggesting the detainees could return to the battlefield in Afghanistan.


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