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 GillibrandKamala Harris: Trump administration ‘targeting’ California for political purposes Harry Reid says he won’t make 2020 endorsement until after Nevada caucus Gillibrand to appear on Fox News Monday night 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 McCainMellman: Where are good faith and integrity? GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech MORE (R-Ariz.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedPapering over climate change impacts is indefensible Why Democrats are pushing for a new nuclear policy GOP chairman: US military may have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia does 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.