Oversight chair presses Mattis for details on probe into spokeswoman
© Anna Moneymaker

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyGowdy remembers political opponent, good friend Elijah Cummings Hill editor-in-chief: 'Hard to imagine' House leadership without Cummings Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 MORE (R-S.C.) is demanding answers from Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisAmash rips Trump over move to send troops from Syria to Iraq Defense chief says US troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq White House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours MORE over reports that the Pentagon's top spokesperson is being investigated for retaliating against staffers.

The spokeswoman, Dana White, was reported earlier this month to be under investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general after she allegedly retaliated against agency staff who complained about her use of their time to perform tasks such as picking up dry cleaning and filling out mortgage forms.


Gowdy wrote to Mattis earlier this week in a letter obtained by CNN requesting "all documents and communications to, from or about Dana White regarding her tasking other Department employees with non-official business" as well as all information regarding transferring staff to different positions.

White is accused by several agency personnel, according to CNN sources, of transferring employees who complained about improper duties assigned to them by the spokeswoman.

The allegations "raise concerns about White's conduct and questions about whether Department senior managers receive proper ethics training," Gowdy wrote to Mattis, according to CNN.

Pentagon ethics standards bar agency officials from directing their subordinates to perform personal activities during the work day. According to previous reports, some staffers carried out the tasks voluntarily because they believed White to be under a heavy workload.

White has not yet been found to have violated any policies, the network reported.

A Pentagon spokesman said Thursday that the agency would be unable to comment as the investigation into White's conduct progresses.

"This is an ongoing review and therefore we are unable to provide additional comments," Col. Rob Manning told CNN.