Chairman Bost, House Republicans Grill VA over Antisemitic Video from VA Lawyer
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mike Bost (R-Ill.), released the following statement after he led a letter with 18 House Republicans to call on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough to hold VA attorney Ms. Shekeba Morrad accountable for the video she posted online mocking Israelis who are asking for the return of hostages taken by Hamas terrorists.
“Antisemitism is on the rise around the country since the deadly attacks on Israel in October and as we saw just last week during testimony from so-called leading universities’ presidents during a congressional hearing. Which is why we – as Members of Congress – must without question do everything we can to condemn it,” said Chairman Bost. “I firmly believe that the conduct that was so openly displayed by this VA attorney is unbecoming of someone who serves our nation’s veterans at VA, including those of Jewish faith, which is why I hope the Biden administration takes House Republicans concerns seriously. All veterans regardless of their faith – deserve to know that the services they receive from VA are free from any bias or discrimination – period.”
Full text of the letter the Members sent can be found here and below:
Dear Mr. Secretary:
After viewing the unacceptable video of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) attorney Ms. Shekeba Morrad mocking Israelis who are asking for the return of hostages taken by Hamas terrorists, we are seriously concerned VA is not doing enough to ensure Ms. Morrad is held accountable for her disturbing conduct.
The Committee’s initial investigation indicates Ms. Morrad is still employed in her attorney role and is still receiving full compensation while VA does a “fact-finding” of the matter. This is unacceptable. As an attorney in VA’s Benefits Law Group, Ms. Morrad makes key decisions that affect the benefits all veterans – including the many proud Jewish veterans who have protected and defended our great nation – receive. We are concerned Ms. Morrad’s blatant antisemitism, which she exposed in her online video, could have affected, and could continue to affect, veterans of the Jewish faith. VA must not allow such bias to continue, which is why it is unacceptable Ms. Morrad has not been detailed to a different position while VA conducts its investigation.
Additionally, we are worried VA’s investigation, like many of its investigations the Committee has performed oversight of, will be untimely and result in minimal consequences. Ms. Morrad’s conduct was abhorrent and has no place at VA. We demand you prioritize a speedy investigation of Ms. Morrad and provide the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs all documents associated with the fact-finding, its recommendation, and any disciplinary actions taken.
I am sure you agree the allegations surrounding this issue are extremely concerning and require immediate attention by your Department. We look forward to hearing from you.