Texas Senator John Cornynis calling for a criminal investigation into the scandal surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs. Cornyn made the announcement during a meeting in Houston on Thursday with members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. After hearing stories and experiences from some of the vets in attendance about their problems in getting timely healthcare from the VA, Cornyn said this scandal goes beyond previous problems with the agency. "What's happening now is even worse than what we've seen in the past," he told the meeting. "Because we're seeing people within the VA system destroy evidence, and have secret waiting lists for veterans." As many as 40 veterans reportedly died while waiting for treatment on one of those secret lists at the VA hospital in Phoenix.
Cornyn, who has already calledfor the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, sent a letter to President Obama this week asking the President to direct the FBI to lead a criminal investigation. Cornyn says the current investigation by the Inspector General's office is simply not enough. "With the help of the FBI director, particularly looking at the possibility of criminal conduct, we can get to the bottom of it," he told the veterans meeting.
In the letter, Cornyn tells the President, "We must get to the bottom of these allegations as quickly as possible, and anyone guilty of criminal wrongdoing must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." The senator goes on to call the current VA scandal "part of a pattern of systemic, pervasive fraud involving multiple layers of personnel within these facilities."