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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Why Are Members of Congress, but Not Obama, Calling for a Criminal Investigation of the VA?



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Also in today’s Jolt:

Congress Wants a Criminal Investigation of the VA. Why Not Obama?

Say, why isn’t the FBI or Department of Justice investigating anyone for falsifying federal records at the VA?

It’s very interesting that we’re seeing this call from congressional Democrats, and not, say, the president of the United States, who keeps telling us he’s madder than anyone about what happened:

The Justice Department should enter the investigation of whether Veterans Affairs employees have falsified records to cover up long waits at VA medical facilities, Democratic and Republican lawmakers said Sunday.

“Only the Department of Justice and the FBI have the resources, the expertise and the authority to do a prompt and effective criminal investigation of the secret waiting lists, potential destruction of documents, falsification of records, in effect, the cooking of books and covering up that may have occurred,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said on CBS’ Face the Nation.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, agreed. The “Department of Justice needs to get involved,” he said on the same program.

The VA’s inspector general is investigating 26 sites to determine whether employees covered up long waits for medical appointments, and the Justice Department is already involved to some extent.

Meanwhile, on Memorial Day, President Obama “made only an oblique reference to the scandals at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and spoke in general about the country’s solemn obligations to veterans, as well as to families of the lost.” Of course.

Back to the question of a criminal investigation — what is Eric Holder doing these days? Oh, that’s right, he’s giving the commencement address at Morgan State University, calling stricter voter-ID laws a “moral failing” . . . 

Until the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, African Americans’ right to the franchise was aggressively restricted based solely on race. Today, such overt measures cannot survive. Yet in too many jurisdictions, new types of restrictions are justified as attempts to curb an epidemic of voter fraud that — in reality — has never been shown to exist. Rather than addressing a supposedly widespread problem, these policies disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans, Hispanics, other communities of color, and vulnerable populations such as the elderly. But interfering with or depriving a person of the right to vote should never be a political aim. It is a moral failing.

Ah, I see.


Tags: Barack Obama , VA


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