Aiexpress – The House Armed Services Committee has taken action by sending a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, requesting his testimony regarding his recent hospitalization. The committee is concerned about his failure to inform government leaders, including President Joe Biden, about this matter.
Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-LA., expressed his concerns in a letter, stating that Austin’s lack of transparency and evasive responses warrant a Full Committee hearing in February. Rogers emphasized the need for direct testimony to address the decisions made to withhold information from the President, Congress, and the American people.
“In the meantime, I expect you to promptly address all remaining questions so that the Committee can thoroughly examine the required information before the upcoming hearing,” Rogers emphasized. “I anticipate your complete honesty and cooperation in this matter. Anything less than that is entirely unacceptable.”
Rogers asked for responses to 20 questions and requested a record of the occasions when Deputy Secretary Hicks took on the responsibilities of Secretary of Defense. This includes the duration of those periods as well as any times that overlapped with medical procedures or other medical activities that prevented him from fulfilling his duties.
According to Rogers, the letter also asked for written communications regarding the whereabouts and operational capability of Deputy Secretary Hicks, as well as any other matters related to her assuming the role of Acting Secretary of Defense. The request covers the period from her hospitalization on January 1, 2024, up until the present day.
He also requested all Department policies and interpretations regarding the legal transfer of authority.
The hearing has been scheduled for February 14th.
Rogers has written a letter amidst the escalating controversy surrounding Austin’s undisclosed hospitalization.
After undergoing surgery to address prostate cancer, Austin found himself back in the hospital due to an infection.
Austin acknowledges his responsibility for the incident and admits that he could have done a better job of keeping the public informed.
The White House criticized Austin’s decision to keep his hospitalization hidden, deeming it as poor judgement. However, despite calls from Republicans for him to step down, he will not be fired.
Following the scandal, the White House issued a directive for all cabinet secretaries to inform officials if they are unable to carry out their responsibilities.