Chairman Takano: “The only honorable option left for Secretary Wilkie is to resign immediately”
Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684)
WASHINGTON, D.C —Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) issued the following statement due to Secretary Wilkie’s silence on the insurrection at the Capitol on Wednesday-- he was the last Cabinet member to respond. Given the handling of a sexual assault allegation at a VA facility, Chairman Takano led the charge to call for Secretary Wilkie’s resignation in December and was joined by the Big 6 Veteran Service Organizations and many lawmakers, including Speaker Pelosi.
“Secretary Wilkie, Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol wasn’t just an affront to our veterans and those who’ve worn the uniform, it was an attack on our democracy. In the days that followed the assault on the U.S. Capitol, you failed to join those urging that the 25th Amendment be invoked to remove a president that has shown himself to be unfit for office, instead taking to social media to issue a measly two sentence statement that remained silent on the President's seditious actions.
“Under your leadership of the Department of Veterans Affairs, whistleblowers have been targeted for retaliation, survivors of sexual harassment and assault have been questioned and diminished, and our oversight efforts have been obstructed as you have refused to cooperate with Congress.
“Today I am making a renewed call for you to step down, motivated by a different and even more salient reason than your misuse of power: you have failed to defend our Republic and Constitution. There is only one honorable option left for you to ensure we preserve the freedom and liberty millions of servicemembers have fought and died for – resign immediately.”