Promised 90-Day Commission Must Be Independent of the Defense Department

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), the chairs of the respective Armed Services personnel subcommittees in the House and Senate, sent President Biden a letter applauding his promise to establish a 90-day commission of current and former military leaders, sexual assault survivors and their advocates, and experts to make recommendations on how the military can better prevent and respond to sexual violence, including by changing how prosecution decisions are made. The letter also called on President Biden to establish the commission within the Executive Office of the President rather than the Department of Defense. The letter specifically states:

“We urge you to establish this commission by executive order and to base and staff the commission within the Executive Office of the President instead of the Department of Defense (DoD). DoD has longstanding institutional views on these matters and has routinely stacked similar panels with members who will toe the Department’s line. For the commission to be truly independent, balanced, and credible, it must be organized and run outside of DoD.”

The full text of the letter can be viewed here.