Warren says woman who accused general of sexual misconduct should appear before Senate Armed Services Committee

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Warren raises $19.1M in 2nd quarter

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren thinks Congress should hear from the woman who accused Air Force General John Hyten, the nominee to be vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, of sexual misconduct.

"I think, at a minimum, the Armed Services Committee owes her an obligation to listen to what she says," Warren said in an interview with CBS News correspondent Ed O'Keefe, at the League of United Latin American Citizens conference in Milwaukee.

The woman, who is a senior military officer, wrote a letter to Warren about her allegations that Hyten made unwanted sexual advances toward her in 2017 when she was one of his aides, and she has accused him of trying to damage her career after she rejected him. She said she's willing to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee, on which Warren serves.

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"I believe that a woman who comes forward with an allegation like this should be listened to and treated with respect," Warren also told O'Keefe. She believes that the woman has a "lot of credibility" and praised her for her bravery in coming forward with such an allegation.

The Air Force invested the allegations in April, which came up soon after Hyten's nomination was announced. It found that there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

The Pentagon has had some trouble with the nominees for some of its top jobs in the last few months. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan withdrew from consideration for the permanent job after reports about violent domestic incidents involving his family from years ago emerged. And on Sunday, the admiral who was to become the top uniformed officer in the Navy suddenly declined his appointment and announced his retirement, after admitting that he had continued a professional relationship with a public affairs officer who had been censured by the Navy.

And on Friday, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced his resignation after spending days defending his handling of a decade-old plea deal with financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex crime charges when Acosta was the U.S. attorney in Florida's Southern District. Acosta faced renewed scrutiny over the case after Epstein was arrested on new federal sex trafficking charges in New York last week. Acosta said that he didn't want Epstein to be a distraction from the accomplishments of the labor department.

First published on July 12, 2019 / 2:36 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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