Congresswoman Jackie Speier

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Reps. Speier, Takano, and McGovern Calls For Review of John Kelly’s Role in Overseeing Personnel Misconduct

February 15, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, was joined by Congressmen Mark Takano (CA-41) and James McGovern (MA-2) yesterday in writing a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis requesting information related to General John Kelly’s handling of complaints against personnel under his command.

The request was made in light of recent revelations that General Kelly defended and failed to fully investigate former White House staff member Rob Porter, who has been accused of domestic abuse involving his former spouses and an ex-girlfriend.

“For the decade I have been working to reform how the military prosecutes sexual assault cases, I have seen a systemic pattern of commanders excusing the behavior of favored subordinates, even overthrowing court martial convictions, and protecting them from appropriate punishment. Since General Kelly excused and protected Mr. Porter, I think it is appropriate to review how he handled cases in the military,” Rep Speier said.

In the letter, Reps. Speier, Takano, and McGovern asked Secretary Mattis to provide records of instances in which General Kelly testified for, overturned, dismissed, or declined to investigate complaints regarding personnel under his command.  They asked that a response be provided within two weeks, and specifically requested the following information:

  • A list of hearings or trials in which General Kelly served as a character witness for individuals accused of misconduct, including but not limited to physical and sexual assault and harassment. 
  • A list of misconduct cases General Kelly overturned, dismissed, or declined to investigate.
  • The command climate survey summaries for the last five commands General Kelly held.

A copy of the letter can be found here.