(NBC News) Lawmakers got their first chance Wednesday to publicly grill the Obama administration over the controversial Taliban prisoner exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faced repeated questions about whether the administration broke the law by bypassing Congress, and whether the exchange puts the country at risk.
Hagel said the administration believed this would be their last chance to free Bergdahl.
"You can question our judgment, that's fair," Hagel said, "but we did this because we were concerned with the fleeting opportunity - we might miss it."
The explanation did little for lawmakers accusing the Obama administration of violating a law requiring Congress be notified out of fear of push-back.
Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.