Senate panel schedules open hearing on Marines' nude-photo scandal

Senate panel schedules open hearing on Marines' nude-photo scandal

The Senate Armed Services Committee plans to have an open hearing next week on the nude-photo-sharing scandal rocking the Marine Corps with testimony from the commandant of the service.

The committee will hear from Gen. Robert Neller at 10 a.m. Tuesday followed by a closed-door briefing, the committee announced Thursday.

The War Horse, a nonprofit military news organization, reported over the weekend that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating hundreds of Marines accused of sharing photos of nude female Marines and veterans, as well as their personal information, in a private Facebook group. The Facebook group, called "Marines United," had nearly 30,000 followers.

Some photos were allegedly taken and posted without the women’s knowledge or were meant to remain private. Comments on the page reportedly included rape threats.

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In addition to outrage over the photo sharing, some lawmakers have criticized the Marines for not responding to the scandal forcefully enough.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that “heads should roll” over the scandal.

Late Wednesday, Senate Armed Services Committee member Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Howard Schultz to be featured in Fox News town hall MORE (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the leaders of the committee asking for a hearing on the issue.

“This unacceptable behavior spotlights a culture of disrespect for female service members that undermines good order and discipline in the military and weakens military readiness,” she wrote in the letter to Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Trump: 'I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be' Santorum: Trump should 'send emails to a therapist' instead of tweeting MORE (R-Ariz.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Pentagon lists construction projects at risk from emergency declaration | Officials deny report on leaving 1,000 troops in Syria | Spy budget request nears B Pentagon sends Congress list of projects that could lose funds to Trump's emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget MORE (D-R.I.).

The sergeant major of the Marines said Wednesday the service has been careful about how it responds publicly to avoid the appearance of unlawful command influence, citing a judge’s rebuke of a former commandant on the issue. 

Neller’s appearance in the Senate is set to come before a previously announced closed briefing to the House Armed Services Committee later next week.