The Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general has opened an investigation into allegations that Secretary Robert Wilkie tried to dig up dirt on an aide to a top Democrat in Congress after she said she was sexually assaulted at the agency’s Washington hospital.
Inspector General Michael J. Missal, after a preliminary review of Wilkie’s conduct following the woman’s report last fall, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Thursday that he has decided to move forward with a full-blown inquiry.
“This matter is a high priority for our office,” Missal wrote in letters to House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and six senators led by Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who joined the chairman in demanding an investigation.
Wilkie, who previously ran the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness operation, has denied making inquiries about the woman, Andrea Goldstein. She serves as Takano’s senior policy adviser on female veterans issues and is an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve, as Wilkie once was.