Isakson rebukes VA employees who pleaded the Fifth
 
The chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs committee is firing a warning shot at two senior VA employees who invoked their Fifth Amendment rights last week at a congressional hearing.
 
Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves were both subpoenaed to testify before the House Veterans Affairs Committee, but refused to answer questions about their alleged misconduct, drawing the ire of members of the panel. 
 
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“They know we are going to go after them criminally if they don’t do their job, because it’s a criminal violation of the law not to take care of a veteran who served the United States of America,” Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonTrump keeps up attacks on 'horrible' McCain, despite calls from GOP, veterans Crenshaw to Trump: 'Stop talking about McCain' Scaramucci: Trump McCain attacks are 'socially unnatural,' 'stupid' MORE (R-Ga.) told John Catsimatidis, host of “The Cats Roundtable” on New York’s AM-970, in an interview airing Sunday.
 
Rubens, director of the Philadelphia Regional Office, and Graves, director of the St. Paul, Minn., Regional Office, are accused of improperly pushing out other executives to take over their jobs for their own financial benefit, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from an agency relocation program. 
 
Both employees are facing disciplinary action under a VA reform law passed by Congress last year. The VA’s inspector general has referred a criminal complaint against Rubens and Graves to the Department of Justice. 
 
“These people thought they thought they could get away with less than good performance and they didn’t do their job,” Isakson said. 
 
“We’re now looking over their shoulder, and that’s why they are taking the Fifth Amendment, that’s why they are losing their job, that’s why they’re resigning and that’s why we’re improving the service to our veterans all over the United States.”
 
The incident was the latest black eye for the scandal-plagued agency. The VA’s former secretary, Eric Shinseki, resigned last year after it was revealed that agency employees covered up long wait times for veterans seeking medical care in hospitals across the country.