Tester Statement Following Release of Damning Watchdog Report on VA Secretary Wilkie

Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Jon Tester released a statement today following a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General report on senior officials’ response to a veteran’s sexual assault allegations:

“The Inspector General’s report sheds light on deep failures and unprofessional conduct by VA Secretary Wilkie and his senior political team. Above all else, it uncovers a disturbing pattern of unethical behavior at VA that placed a higher priority on politics and personal vendettas than on seeking justice for a veteran who was sexually assaulted at one of its facilities. The men and women at VA, particularly those at the highest levels, are entrusted with doing right by our nation’s veterans. Secretary Wilkie and his leadership team have violated that trust. Moving forward, it is critical that all veterans, especially the survivors of sexual violence, are heard and respected.”