Obama accused of ulterior motive in Guantanamo prisoner swap

New Controversy Over the Bergdahl Swap
New Controversy Over the Bergdahl Swap

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Republican U.S. lawmakers accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of arranging the exchange of five inmates from the Guantanamo Bay detention center for accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl as part of his plan to close the prison.

READ MORE: Trump scraps planned trip to Israel

The House Armed Services Committee released a report on Thursday that found the Obama administration "clearly broke the law" by failing to notify Congress of the transfer of the prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

Republican Representative Mac Thornberry, the committee's chairman, said in a statement that before the transfer, Congress was misled about the status of negotiations.

See inside Guantanamo Bay:

The White House did not have an immediate response to the charges.

Bergdahl disappeared on June 30, 2009, from a U.S. outpost in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, from whom he suffered years of abuse and torture. He was freed in 2014 in a prisoner swap that sent five Taliban prisoners who were being held at Guantanamo to Qatar.

See more of the Bergdahl story below:

That exchange infuriated Republicans in Congress, many of whom strongly oppose efforts by Obama, a Democrat, to close the controversial prison.

Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to close the prison, views it as a damaging symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge that his administration inherited from Republican President George W. Bush.

But he has not yet sent Congress a long-promised plan to close the facility, and recently signed a sweeping defense policy bill that included provisions making it more difficult to close the prison at the naval base.

Watch more coverage:

How The U.S. Gained Control Of Gitmo
How The U.S. Gained Control Of Gitmo

More from AOL.com:
US, Japan test interceptor missile off Southern California
Gun rights groups plan fake mass shooting at major university
People confess how they really feel about Donald Trump's ban on Muslims