'Abhorrent': Prison boss vexes DOJ with alleged intimidation
The Justice Department says it is gravely concerned about allegations that a high-ranking federal prison official entrusted to end sexual abuse and cover-ups at a women’s prison may have taken steps to suppress a recent complaint about staff misconduct.
New law named for Guillén will revamp military investigations into sexual assault, harassment
Commanders will no longer be involved in military sexual harassment or sexual assault investigations under a new federal law named for a murdered Fort Hood soldier that goes into effect on Jan.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
The military is failing to comply with federal law in sexual assault cases, new watchdog report finds
In an analysis of almost 450 military special victims cases filed between 2018 to 2020, the Department of Defense's inspector general found that 64% did not have properly trained prosecutors assigned to them.cbsnews.com
A year after Vanessa Guillén’s death, lawmakers and advocates call for Congress to pass military sexual assault reform bill
A federal bill was recently reintroduced, proposing sweeping changes to the way the military investigates sexual assault and harassment allegations. Texas lawmakers are urging Congress to make it law.
Army under fire from Congress over Fort Hood response to criminal investigations
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)WASHINGTON – Lawmakers expressed frustration Tuesday with how slowly improvements are being made to criminal investigations at Fort Hood, Texas, where rates of violent crime and sexual assaults are particularly high. More than two dozen Fort Hood soldiers died in 2020, including in multiple homicides and suicides. The review also concluded that the Army CID was understaffed, overwhelmed and filled with inexperienced investigators. Elder Fernandes, who was missing for more than a week last year before he was found dead about 28 miles from Fort Hood. AdAs a result of the independent review and other investigations, the Army earlier this year took action against 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood.
The Latest: Pelosi ties rioters' actions to 'whiteness'
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a news conference on the day after violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. “It has been an epiphany for the world to see that there are people in our country led by this president, for the moment, who have chosen their whiteness over democracy,” Pelosi said. Pelosi says, “The complicity, not only the complicity, the instigation of the president of United States, must and will be addressed.”___1:25 p.m. Flight attendants have expressed concern that their flights could be carrying supporters of President Donald Trump who took part in Wednesday’s violent protest and siege of the U.S. Capitol. ___2:25 a.m.Democrats in Congress are laying the groundwork to impeach President Donald Trump.
Congress vows to watch Army response to Fort Hood violence
Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy speaks about an investigation into Fort Hood, Texas at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Washington. A day after Army officials released an independent panel's report on chronic leadership failures and widespread violence at Fort Hood, lawmakers said they will ensure the Army makes long-delayed changes. Elder Fernandes, who was missing for more than a week before he was found dead about 28 miles from Fort Hood. Army leaders concluded that leadership failures contributed to the widespread crime problems at Fort Hood. The five-member panel spent three weeks at Fort Hood and conducted more than 2,500 interviews, including 647 in person.
‘The military’s #MeToo moment:’ Fort Hood victims speak out
Members of Congress launched an investigation of Fort Hood in September after Sgt. Elder Fernandes was found dead on Aug. 25 hanging from a tree in Temple, Texas, months after reporting sexual harassment. A Fort Hood officer went with his wife to their apartment during one altercation after Buxton called for help. A Fort Hood spokesperson said they had no information on this allegation. “How many more must die at Fort Hood for them to be held accountable?” Lupe Guillen said.
San Antonio march will honor Vanessa Guillén on what would have been her 21st birthday
click to enlarge Instagram / licitly_brun3tt3Boerne-based military-assistance nonprofit the Pink Berets will host a march honoring slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillén on what would have been her 21st birthday.The march will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30 at the Alas de Mexico statue at Hemisfair. "It’s our moral duty to rectify problems within the very institution that defines our freedom in this country. "The march is a collaborative effort between the Pink Berets, No Mas Not In My Marine Corps and The Heal Netwerk . All are organizations that offer wellness and support programs for military members.The program will include musical performances and guest speakers from the participating organizations. Those interested in participating can do so in person, or virtually via Facebook live.sacurrent.com
Final autopsy: Fort Hood soldier’s drowning was an accident
BELTON, Texas – The July drowning of a Fort Hood soldier at lake near the U.S. Army base in Central Texas was an accident, according to a final autopsy report. Final results from the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas supported initial reports from the Bell County Sheriff's Office that Pvt. Sheriff’s deputies were called to Stillhouse Hollow Lake near Belton on July 17 just after midnight when fishermen in found a body in the water at the base of a dam. Morta is one of 28 soldiers who have died at Fort Hood this year, according to data from Fort Hood officials. Fort Hood has one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army, Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy said in August.
Congressional delegation holds news conference after Fort Hood visit
(The livesteam has ended. Check back soon for another livestream from KSAT.com). U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) will be joining U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, and a delegation of six other representatives for a press conference after visiting Fort Hood to perform their oversight role in the wake of a number of concerning events involving the military installation, including the murder of Vanessa Guillen.
Texas soldier's slaying inspires bid to expand military code
Reps. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, and Markwayne Mullin, a Republican from Oklahoma, said their bill would make sexual harassment a crime within the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The bill is named I Am Vanessa Guillen after the hashtag that was used by military sexual assault survivors to denounce their experiences on social media when Spc. According to Natalie Khawam, who represents the Guillen family, Guillen told her mother that a soldier of a higher rank walked in and watched her while she was showering. A coalition of military sexual assault survivors along with Democratic and Republican members of Congress joined Speier, Mullin, the Guillen family and Natalie Khawam, who represents the Guillen family, to present the bill at the U.S. Capitol. Officials said they had evidence that Guillen did face other kinds of harassment by other people at the Central Texas base.
Congress investigates Fort Hood following soldier deaths
AUSTIN, Texas Congress will launch an investigation into sexual assault, disappearances, deaths and the leaderships response at Fort Hood after 28 soldiers stationed at the U.S. Army base in Texas died this year, two subcommittee leaders announced Tuesday. The members of Congress cited the deaths of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who according to federal officials was bludgeoned to death at the Texas base in April by a fellow soldier, and Pvt. Natalie Khawam, who represents the Guillen family, said she is thankful Congress has agreed to their demands to investigate. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
Women say they will fight sexism, 'ugly' attacks on Harris
Women say they will fight sexism, 'ugly' attacks on HarrisPublished: August 11, 2020, 11:15 pmFILE - In this March 9, 2020, file photo, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at Renaissance High School in Detroit. Before Joe Biden named Harris his running mate, womens groups were readying a campaign of their own: Shutting down sexist coverage and disinformation about a vice presidential nominee they say is headed for months of false smears and brutal attacks from internet haters. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Watchdog who found hospital shortages unfazed by Trump barbs
We are operating as we did on May 1 when Trump nominated a new inspector general to replace Grimm. Grimm remains in charge of the office as principal deputy inspector general while Weida's nomination is pending. Trump called the report, based on a late March survey of 323 hospitals nationwide, "just wrong and suggested that its conclusions were skewed by politics. Give me the name of the inspector general, Trump told reporters. I do think independence is the cornerstone of what any office of inspector general does,'' Grimm said.
Trump threats complicate negotiations for whistleblower to testify to Congress
Trump has suggested the whistleblower committed treason, prompting concerns among Democrats on the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee that testifying could raise the risk of exposure. The whistleblowers revelations led to House Democrats opening an impeachment inquiry last week. The intelligence committee is considering allowing the whistleblower to testify from a location off Capitol Hill, with their voice and appearance obscured, according to two sources. House Democrats declined to comment on the negotiations but voiced support for efforts to conceal the whistleblowers identity from lawmakers. We should make extraordinary efforts to protect the whistleblower, committee member Representative Jackie Speier told Reuters.feeds.reuters.com
Whistleblower complaint makes a 'very compelling' case for impeaching Trump, Rep. Jackie Speier says
This combination of pictures shows Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on June 17, 2019 in Paris, and US President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House, September 20, 2019. The whistleblower complaint that sounded the alarm on a phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky makes strong case for impeachment, Rep. Jackie Speier told CNBC on Wednesday night. "When the impeachment process started with Richard Nixon, there was very little support for it. An impeachment process was started against Nixon because of the Watergate scandal, but he ultimately resigned from office before it came to a vote. "We will allow the facts to take us where they will," Speier said, pointing out that the inquiry against Trump was still at an early stage.cnbc.com
Volunteers focus on families affected by zero tolerance policy
McALLEN, Texas – A group of volunteers from California are trying to help families recently affected by the zero tolerance policy. This past weekend, a dozen volunteers from San Mateo, California accompanied U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier to McAllen, Texas, after hearing about the separation of families. Related: Group goes on hunger strike to protest immigrant families separatedThe volunteers worked and collected needed items: a total of 21 bags and 50 boxes, all before traveling to the Rio Grande Valley. But we know we can't do that so this is the next best thing we can provide," Rey said. "We are tired of wringing our hands and just not sleeping at night," Rey said.