Gen. John Hyten, nominated by Trump to be vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, faces a sexual assault allegation.
Gen. John Hyten, Trump's pick to the be the number two person on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, could see his nomination crumble because of a sexual assault allegation, Defense One reported Wednesday.
In April, the Air Force began investigating Hyten over allegations of "abusive sexual contact” and that he created "an unprofessional relationship." While the Air Force cleared him of wrongdoing, Defense One learned that the survivor of the alleged assault directly contacted members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which will conduct hearings into Hyten's nomination.
The situation of a survivor directly contacting senators about sexual assault allegations is reminiscent of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who made credible allegations of attempted rape against Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's pick to sit on the Supreme Court. In that instance, Republicans derided and insulted Blasey Ford as they sided with a belligerent Kavanaugh, ultimately confirming the alleged sexual predator to the highest court in the land.
Both Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sit on the committee and both have been outspoken about the need to reexamine how the military handles allegations of sexual assault.
Thus far, no members of the committee have expressed the intention regarding Hyten.
"There is a report I need to read before I say more," Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told Defense One.
Hyten's imperiled nomination highlights the difficulty Trump has filling top positions in his administration, and especially in the military. On Monday, Trump's pick to be the Navy's top officer suddenly resigned over questions about his "judgment."
Last month, Trump's pick to be secretary of defense, Patrick Shanahan, withdrew from consideration after a family domestic violence scandal erupted. That position has been vacant for the entirety of 2019.
According to Defense One, 18 senior positions within the Pentagon are either unfilled or filled with officials in an acting capacity. Trump used his self-centered July 4 spectacle to highlight the contributions of the U.S. military, but he can't be bothered to find and nominate qualified candidates to lead the military.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.