GOP Senators Call for Delay on Hagel Vote
Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee are calling to delay the committee’s vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination for secretary of defense. According to Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, the committee is still waiting for Hagel to disclose who compensated him for each of the paid speeches he delivered in recent years, as well as for the results of an investigation into an incident that allegedly occurred in Hagel’s Senate office. According to Foreign Policy’s The Cable, that incident involves a complaint of sexual misconduct lodged by a former Hagel aide against another former aide:
According to Sessions and all three aides, the female staffer told the committee she had been sexually harassed by a senior male staffer while working in Hagel’s office in 2007. One aide said the alleged harassment included “inappropriate statements and conduct.” . . .
Sessions told The Cable that he had been briefed on the allegation, but said that he wanted to know the facts before making any judgment. ”It should be analyzed and we should find out what happened,” Sessions said. “I know the staff is looking at it. Pretty soon we’ll get a final report on what the facts are.”
A spokesman for Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, indicated that he has yet to schedule a vote on Hagel’s nomination.
UPDATE: Senator Hagel has refused to provide the financial information sought by the committee, according to BuzzFeed, telling them, “The information you seek is legally controlled by the individual entities and not mine to disclose.” BuzzFeed reports that this is not going over well with senators on the Armed Service Committee, and quotes a GOP aide saying that Hagel “is basically telling Senators they have no right to know if he has been unduly influenced by foreign governments or foreign agents over the last five years.”