IG conducting criminal probes of $43 million Afghanistan gas station

IG conducting criminal probes of $43 million Afghanistan gas station
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A special inspector general has “several ongoing criminal investigations” related to a Pentagon task force that spent $43 million on a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRepublicans jockey for position on immigration House clears bill to combat crimes against elderly Grassley: DACA deal wouldn't need border wall funding MORE (R-Iowa) said Tuesday.

The special inspector general “confirmed to Grassley that it has ‘several ongoing criminal investigations’ related to the task force,” according to a press release.

“SIGAR cannot discuss the specifics of those investigations,” the release added.

At issue is the Task Force for Stability and Business Operations, a Pentagon program meant to stabilize the economies of Iraq and Afghanistan. The task force spent $800 million before disbanding in March.

The program has come under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers after the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released a report that said the task force spent 140-times more than it should have on the gas station. The report also slammed the Pentagon for not cooperating in its investigation.

Grassley has previously called for the Pentagon to provide him with all documents related to the task force. And Monday, he pressed the Pentagon on an alleged retaliation against a whistleblower from the task force.

In a written statement, Grassley said he expects the Pentagon to cooperate with the criminal investigations.

“Everybody responsible for the tremendous waste of U.S. tax dollars on the gas station and any other projects ought to be held accountable,” Grassley said in a written statement. “That includes any warranted criminal cases.

“I expect the Pentagon to cooperate fully with the inspector general and with my office in all inquiries involving the task force. With the poor track record reported on the auditing side, there’s reason to be skeptical on the level of cooperation with the inspector general on the criminal side.”