Politics
House Veterans House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) speaks at House Republican leaders news conference to call for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 29, 2014. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY HEALTH) - RTR3RF8V  

House Committee: VA Stonewalling Subpoena, Legal Action Could Be Taken

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Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has failed to comply with a House committee subpoena to turn over documents related to the current VA scandal and now faces federal legal action, The Daily Caller has learned.

Republican House Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller called the VA’s response to his committee’s subpoena “incomplete,” accused VA of “stonewalling” on its legal obligation, and threatened VA with legal action. Miller’s committee subpoenaed VA for documents related to secret waiting lists that led to preventable veteran deaths at a VA medical facility and other VA healthcare and oversight issues.

“I am writing regarding the current status of the incomplete response by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to the May 8, 2014, subpoena duces tecum issued by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs,” Miller wrote in a letter to Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson, which was obtained by The Daily Caller.

“In a May 27 letter, VA General Counsel Will Gunn stated that the production of documents included with the letter constituted the remainder of the responsive documents to the subpoena,” Miller wrote. “However, at the hearing held on May 28, Mr. Michael Huff stated he turned over notes, from the April 24, 2014 briefing Dr. Thomas Lynch gave to congressional staff, to the VA Office of General Counsel. Those notes were not originally produced as part of VA’s document production. On May 29th, the Committee subsequently received the notes and three conversations originally withheld under the attorney/client privilege. I have reason to believe that the conversations were not produced in their entirety. Following that production, VA provided an additional 304 pages of documents stated to be responsive to the subpoena. Considering the substantial quantity of additional documents provided after the VA claimed to have fully complied with the subpoena, I have no confidence that VA has fully complied, or has any plan to fully comply with its binding, legal obligation. I would like that confidence restored.”

Miller then laid out a strict deadline for VA to fully comply with his subpoena: ”Please provide any and all remaining documents responsive to the May 8 subpoena by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 9, 2014. If the committee does not receive all responsive documents by that time, we will not hesitate to pursue any means necessary to compel compliance, including judicial action in federal court, if ultimately necessary.”