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Veterans want Texas Rep. Crenshaw to resign over alleged smear in sexual assault case

Veterans

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, questions witnesses throughout a House Committee on Homeland Security listening to on ‘worldwide threats to the homeland’, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 on Capitol Hill Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Pool by way of AP)

AP

U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas is dealing with calls to resign over accusations he “smeared” a lady who reported a sexual assault at a veterans’ hospital.

The allegations are included in an inspector common’s report into the Department of Veterans Affairs’ response to a sexual assault allegation by Andrea Goldstein, a Navy veteran and congressional staffer.

The inspector common’s workplace investigated whether or not Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie and others in management sought damaging details about Goldstein in an effort to discredit her.

The report launched final week decided Wilkie disparaged Goldstein and set a tone that was “at minimum unprofessional and at worst provided the basis for senior officials to put out information to national reporters to question the credibility and background of the veteran who filed the sexual assault complaint.”

Crenshaw’s half in the report

Part of the inspector common’s report centered on whether or not Crenshaw, a Republican, tried to smear Goldstein’s fame because the division investigated her allegations.

Three witnesses stated Wilkie advised them Crenshaw supplied details about Goldstein “having made prior complaints during active duty in the U.S. Navy,” in accordance to the report. Wilkie advised investigators that Crenshaw approached him throughout a fundraising occasion and talked about Goldstein was in his unit after they served in the Navy. Wilkie stated he and Crenshaw didn’t communicate any additional about her.

As quickly as he left the fundraiser, Wilkie emailed two workers members, in accordance to the report.

“Ask me in the morning what Congressman Crenshaw said about the Takano staffer whose (glamour) shot was in the New York Times,” the e-mail stated, referring to Goldstein. She had posed for a photograph in a narrative by the newspaper about her sexual assault case.

When requested concerning the e mail, Wilkie stated the one info Crenshaw supplied was about their serving in the identical unit and advised investigators “I have no idea” why that info alone could possibly be important.

Crenshaw and a workers member refused to meet with the inspector common’s workplace, in accordance to the report.

Reaction to the investigation

California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee and leads a army personnel subcommittee, referred to as for an ethics investigation into Crenshaw’s involvement.

“Rep. Crenshaw’s alleged involvement is abhorrent,” Speier tweeted. “If true, Rep Crenshaw fed false information to Sec Wilkie in order to help vilify a victim & impugn her character. The Ethics Committee must launch an investigation into these claims.”

Elisa Cardnell, a Democrat who ran for election in Crenshaw’s district in the Houston space, called on him to resign in a letter she says is now signed by greater than 600 veterans.

“Dan Crenshaw has failed to act in a manner that reflects credibly on the House and has broken the public trust necessary to represent his constituents and fellow veterans,” the letter says.

Crenshaw’s response

Crenshaw, who served as a Navy SEAL and was injured in Iraq, denied he participated in a “smear campaign” and referred to as the letter “partisan garbage.”

“As I have stated repeatedly and unequivocally, I have never participated in a ’smear campaign’ against anyone, much less a fellow veteran,” Crenshaw tweeted. “I have no reason or incentive to do so, nor do I think it is the right thing to do as a fellow veteran and especially as a Member of Congress. I have the utmost respect for fellow veterans and especially the challenges that many female veterans face.”

In one other tweet, Crenshaw cited a discovering in the inspector common’s report that “no violation of law, regulation, or policy” and no formal suggestions.

The report does, nonetheless, say “the evidence is replete with examples of VA senior leaders undertaking defensive actions and engaging in confrontational messaging while failing to recognize the need to take corrective action to address known problems.”

By Wednesday, the nation’s six main veterans teams had asked President Donald Trump to remove Wilkie, saying he “no longer has the trust or confidence of America’s veterans,” the Military Times reported.

Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based mostly in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.



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