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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The judge in the case against an Army general believed to be the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to be tried on sex assault charges is considering new evidence that a top lawyer at the Pentagon may have unlawfully interfered in a decision on whether to accept a plea agreement that was ultimately rejected.

Attorneys for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair presented the evidence, and Judge Col. James Pohl dismissed the jury for the day Monday morning. Pohl then retired to his chambers, where he will weigh the email chain between the prosecution team at Fort Bragg and a top Pentagon lawyer.

It is unlawful in the military justice system for senior commanders to interfere in prosecutorial decisions.

The case comes as the Pentagon is under increased scrutiny over revelations of rampant rape and sexual misconduct within the ranks.

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