Retired Lt. Col. Allen West: Holder Should Investigate VA

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 02:53 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Attorney General Eric Holder should create an independent investigation into claims the Department of Veterans Affairs created secret lists that caused backlogs for veterans seeking healthcare, said retired Lt. Col. Allen West.

Reports that started at a Phoenix VA hospital are now increasing from different parts of the country, West said, adding that the problem appears to be "systemic."

Whistleblowers claimed as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care at the VA facility in Phoenix.

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"Eric Holder should take care of business and establish that independent investigation," West told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" on Wednesday. "If you have deaths of American veterans involved, this is something that is worthy of a Justice [Department] investigation."

Holder said Wednesday that the Justice Department currently has no plans to launch a special probe into the VA issue. West, a retired Army veteran and former Florida Republican congressman, said it speaks to the partisan nature of the Justice Department's operations if Holder fails to investigate the VA.

"I think that that shows, once again, the aspect of a politicized Department of Justice, a very partisan attorney general," he said.

"Eric Holder will set off for voting rights and things of this nature. But those who have been willing to give the last full measure of devotion to this country, they deserve justice. And their families deserve justice."

West also called for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step aside. He said there was a "lack of confidence" in Shinseki's ability "to rectify this situation."

"The events have overcome him," West said.

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