Do VA officials have ‘something to hide’?

The House Veterans' Affairs Committee chairman on Tuesday criticized the Veterans Affairs Department’s response to a subpoena and said he was “suspicious” officials had “something to hide” from a probe into hospital delays that allegedly led to deaths.

“VA’s response to the committee’s subpoena is clearly inadequate and makes me suspicious that the department has something to hide,” said Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.).

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The Florida lawmaker has subpoenaed the VA for documents after reports that medical facilities may have used secret lists to hide wait times for veterans to receive care. Dozens of veterans reportedly died awaiting care.

Miller says his office received only 200 emails yesterday from Thomas Lynch, an assistant deputy under secretary at the VA.

The subpoena asked for emails and documents between VA heads, including VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, about the department’s destruction of a document that some officials say could be the “secret” list recently cited by Phoenix VA whistleblowers in one case.

“Considering the fact that there are supposedly 30 people working on responding to the subpoena and the dearth of information VA provided, I am quickly getting the impression the department does not want to fully cooperate in this matter,” said Miller.

“I’m fully prepared to press this issue until we get the truth that America’s veterans deserve — whether VA likes it or not,” he added.

Miller said he is working with ranking member Mike Michaud (D-Maine) to decide what action to take next against the VA.

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