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Gowdy asks Mattis for answers on Pentagon spokeswoman investigation

House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has written to Defense Secretary James Mattis and orde...

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 9:41 AM
Updated: Aug 24, 2018 9:41 AM

House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has written to Defense Secretary James Mattis and ordered him to produce documents and communications related to allegations his top public affairs official retaliated against staff members after she used some of them to conduct her personal errands and business matters.

The letter was prompted by news first reported by CNN that Dana White, a Trump administration political appointee who serves as the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman, has been under investigation for several weeks by the Pentagon's inspector general after multiple complaints were filed against her, according to four sources familiar with the probe. White has not been found to have violated any federal regulations or policies at this point.

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Dana White

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Investigations

James Mattis

Political Figures - US

Trey Gowdy

US Department of Defense

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

Gowdy's Tuesday letter to Mattis, obtained by CNN, brings the investigation into the congressional political arena.

Gowdy's committee has broad oversight powers over the federal government, and he has chosen to focus on several issues related to the Trump administration including the spending of former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Gowdy's committee has also spent significant time investigating the FBI and Justice Department handling of the Hillary Clinton and Russia investigations.

Mattis is being told to provide "all documents and communications to, from or about Dana White regarding her tasking other Department employees with non-official business," as well as all information regarding transferring staff to different positions.

Gowdy said the allegations "raise concerns about White's conduct and questions about whether Department senior managers receive proper ethics training." Gowdy asked for a briefing to committee staff by Aug. 31, and all documents by Sept. 7. "The Committee takes seriously its obligation to protect whistleblowers from retaliation and ensure all federal employees have a safe and fair work environment."

White is alleged to have misused support staff, asking them, among other things, to fetch her dry cleaning, go to the pharmacy for her and work on her mortgage paperwork. Staffers also charge that she inappropriately transferred personnel after they filed complaints about her.

The inspector general's office declined to comment on the investigation.

As many as half a dozen defense personnel, and possibly more, have been interviewed, the sources say. All the officials CNN spoke to asked that their names be withheld, not just because the investigation continues, but also because of concerns about reprisals.

When asked Thursday about the letter, DoD spokesperson Col. Rob Manning said, "This is an ongoing review and therefore we are unable to provide additional comments."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 297651

Reported Deaths: 6808
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19831231
Hinds18971395
Harrison16904283
Rankin12853265
Jackson12756234
Lee9725163
Madison9525204
Jones8045148
Forrest7300138
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Monroe3998129
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Tate304674
Pike303497
Scott296871
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Yazoo292666
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Simpson277981
Prentiss271258
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Attala210571
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Holmes183470
Clay179452
Stone173529
Tallahatchie171839
Clarke170773
Calhoun158728
Smith154433
Yalobusha146036
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123335
Lawrence121721
Carroll119725
Amite112535
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102931
Tunica99824
Claiborne99130
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91523
Quitman77514
Franklin76520
Choctaw70317
Jefferson62927
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 500092

Reported Deaths: 10148
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson720821403
Mobile36436741
Madison32722469
Tuscaloosa24465422
Montgomery22826523
Shelby22301219
Baldwin19942289
Lee15084161
Calhoun13968296
Morgan13810255
Etowah13427327
Marshall11460215
Houston10140264
Elmore9523190
Limestone9443139
St. Clair9061228
Cullman9012183
Lauderdale8631214
DeKalb8510175
Talladega7650165
Walker6606260
Jackson6554104
Autauga636492
Blount6256128
Colbert6012121
Coffee5270104
Dale4688107
Russell408934
Franklin400979
Covington4000107
Chilton3924104
Escambia379673
Tallapoosa3636143
Clarke344653
Chambers3434111
Dallas3427142
Pike293373
Marion289096
Lawrence286387
Winston258768
Bibb246458
Marengo245457
Geneva240670
Pickens226457
Barbour214351
Hale212969
Fayette202857
Butler201766
Henry183841
Cherokee178340
Monroe166839
Randolph165541
Washington157136
Macon147945
Crenshaw147355
Clay146254
Cleburne140341
Lamar133933
Lowndes133351
Wilcox123125
Bullock117736
Conecuh107124
Perry106427
Sumter101032
Coosa90324
Greene88932
Choctaw56123
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