The Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ watchdog agency says the VA secretary made it his personal mission to discredit a veteran’s sexual assault allegation. According to a report released Thursday, Robert Wilkie thought Andrea Goldstein, a Democratic congressional aide and reserve Navy intelligence officer, made the accusation in order to harm his reputation. The report says Wilkie displayed a “a lack of genuine commitment” to following up on the allegation and making the necessary reforms, conduct that was “at minimum unprofessional.” Instead, he falsely accused her of making untrue accusations of sexual assault in the past. The report also found that Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), who served in the same unit as Goldstein, fed information to Wilkie to undermine her.
Goldstein said a contractor at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs “bumped his entire body against mine and told me I looked like I needed a smile and a good time.” House VA Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) has called for Wilkie’s resignation: “He has lost the trust and confidence of all those he is charged to serve.”