Columnist Keene wrongly impugned Feinstein’s ethics

David Keene’s column, “Feinstein’s Cardinal shenanigans” (May 1), badly mischaracterizes Senator Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinFlynn refusal sets up potential subpoena showdown No. 2 Senate Republican downplays holding contempt vote on Flynn Congress urges Trump administration to release public transit funding MORE’s work on the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee.

Senator Feinstein did not direct any military construction funding to any specific company. Congress does not play a role in determining which companies are awarded military construction contracts. That is determined by the Defense Department in a completely separate process that occurs after the legislation is signed into law.

And neither Senator Feinstein, nor her staff, ever sought to influence which entities were awarded any military construction contracts in any way.

Furthermore, Senator Feinstein proactively sought guidance from the Senate Ethics Committee about this matter. The committee confirmed that she could consider, debate and vote on Military Construction bills throughout the legislative process.

Additionally, the claim that Senator Feinstein quit the Military Construction subcommittee in “late 2005” is wrong.
This January, following the departure of Senator Harry ReidHarry ReidThis week: Congress awaits Comey testimony Will Republicans grow a spine and restore democracy? Racial representation: A solution to inequality in the People’s House MORE from the Appropriations Committee, the opportunity for Senator Feinstein to chair the Interior appropriations subcommittee became available. This position allows her to better serve California. Seven other committee members made similar changes. This was part of a regular process that occurs at the beginning of every Congress.

Senator Feinstein has been in public life for more than 30 years, and she has always adhered to the highest ethical standards.

I hope this sets the record straight.

Washington, D.C.

United we stand

From Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Md.)

I want to take strong exception to the article, “Obama snubs Black Caucus” (May 1). The views depicted in the article are a deliberate distortion of my remarks to the reporter. I explained to the reporter in great detail that there was no risk or snub involved, but merely a matter of logistics. This appears to be a calculated attempt to portray divisiveness between Barack ObamaBarack ObamaEPA chief jabs California’s environment push Trump praised Philippines' Duterte for 'unbelievable job' on drugs: reports Overnight Finance: Inside Trump's first budget | 66 programs on the chopping block | Hearing highlights border tax divide | Labor to implement investment adviser rule MORE and the CBC that does not in fact exist. Senator Obama has always expressed his willingness to host a fundraiser for the CBC PAC. We are working together to secure a date and avoid a scheduling conflict. The senator has been very supportive of the CBC PAC’s efforts, and I am confident that he will continue to do so in the future.

Washington, D.C.

So, it’s settled

From David M. Walker, U.S. comptroller general

Your May 1 article, “Contrary to GAO assertion, some cases pending before appeals board” wrongly suggests that incomplete or misleading information was provided by the U.S. Government Accountability Office regarding our recent settlement of 12 employees’ cases before GAO’s Personnel Appeals Board (PAB).

In fact, as my April 26 statement indicated, “the settlement resolves all initial Band II restructuring issues that were pending before the PAB.” That was true then and remains true today.

The article mischaracterizes three other complaints that have been filed with the PAB’s Office of General Counsel, seeking investigations of individual claims. It is my understanding that these matters have been held in abeyance by the general counsel, pending the outcome of administrative appeals filed by the same individuals at GAO’s Office of Opportunity and Inclusiveness.

Until they are investigated and the general counsel decides whether to pursue them, those complaints will not go before the PAB. As a result, they were not pending with the 12 other cases that were settled April 5, and they are not pending today. Furthermore, these three complaints may not ever result in a PAB case. ...

Washington, D.C.

Editor’s note: The Hill stands by the article.