Senate committee advances senior general’s nomination despite sexual assault accusations
By: Leo Shane III and Joe Gould
July 31, 2019
Hyten’s accuser — Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser — attended the hearing and told reporters afterwards that both the Senate and military officials were turning their backs on sexual assault victims. “You just had a four-star general get up in front of the American people and in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee and make false statements under oath,” she said. “He lied. He lied about sexually assaulting me.”
Senate Armed Services Committee members on Wednesday advanced the nomination of an Air Force general accused of sexually harassing and assaulting an aide, but a full floor vote on his confirmation likely won’t take place for several more weeks.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has advanced the nomination of Air Force Gen. John Hyten to be Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said his panel members comfortably backed Gen. John Hyten, 20-7, to become the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the second-highest uniformed military post.
“I have no concerns (about Hyten) at all,” he told reporters after the committee vote. “You’re talking about five classified briefings, where every member had every chance to ask every question.”
The nomination of Hyten, the current head of U.S. Strategic Command, has been stalled for weeks as senators wrestled with the allegations of sexual assault. On Tuesday, Hyten spoke publicly about the accusations for the first time during his confirmation hearing, denying any inappropriate behavior.
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