By Maggie Ybarra – The Washington Times – Updated: 10:47 a.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2014
The House Veterans Affairs Committee voted to subpoena Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and his top deputies for emails and written correspondence sent to or from the department’s senior officials during the month of April.
In a special meeting this morning, committee members expressed frustration with a slew of unanswered questions stemming from an allegations that the department had an alternate wait list, which allegedly shows that dozens of veterans died while on a wait list to see doctors at a Phoenix, Ariz., hospital.
Committee members have been tracking allegations that the purported list was intentionally destroyed.
Tensions heightened when Committee Chairman Mr. Jeff Miller became concerned that the department was dodging the stern glare of Congress.
Within the past few weeks, the department has been “stonewalling” efforts by lawmakers to get to the bottom of the allegations by ignoring requests for information on the list, according to the Florida Republican.
Phone calls and follow-up attempts to contact department members went ignored, Mr. Miller said.
As a result, the committee issuing a subpoena for all emails and written correspondence to and from the department’s senior leaders going back to April 9.
In addition to Mr. Shinseki, leaders include Robert Petzel, the Veterans Affairs undersecretary for health; Thomas Lynch, the assistant deputy undersecretary for health for clinical operations; Joan Mooney, the assistant secretary for congressional and legislative affairs; Ron Maurer, the director of the congressional liaison service, Aakash Bhatt, congressional relations officer and Michael Huff, the congressional relations officer. The subpoena also targets Will Gunn, general counsel, and any other representative of the counsel.