It's been a couple weeks since the Pentagon defied a Congressional subpoena and refused to let the military's chief sexual assault expert testify at a hearing about sexual assault in the military.
Lawmakers on the House oversight committee were definitely not happy about it at the time
Now the committee is stepping up its pressure on the Department of Defense to let Dr. Kaye Whitley, the director of the department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, speak on Capitol Hill.
Yesteday, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote a letter
to Defense Secretary Robert Gates urging the department to comply with the Congressional subpoena issued for Whitley.
"We believe the Department's actions are completely without justification. The Department has provided no valid legal basis for its decision to prevent a witness from complying with a duly authorized congressional subpoena. The President has not asserted executive privilege over the testimony of Dr. Whitley. During the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Tierney asked Mr. Dominguez whether there had been any assertion of executive privilege, and he testified that there had not been.
In addition, the committee also wants to know precisely why officials didn't want Whitley to testify. The letter to Gates also asked for all emails and other internal communications relating to the request for Whitley's testimony.
If the Pentagon does not comply, the committee threated to subpoena three high-ranking Pentagon officials to a hearing on Sept. 12 to testify about the Defense Department's legal rational for not allowing Whitley to testify. Late Update
: Gates has agreed
to let Whitley testify