WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An air force investigation has revealed no evidence to support charges of sexual behavior against President Donald Trump's candidate for vice-president. Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, announced Wednesday a senior US Army official.
General John E. Hyten of the Air Force, speaking at a hearing of the Senate Armed Forces on the proposal to create an American Space Force in Washington, United States, April 11, 2019 REUTERS / Jeenah Moon
The appointment of Air Force General John Hyten, outgoing chief of strategic command of the US military, remains in progress, said the Pentagon. It was still unclear whether it would be confirmed by the Senate before the end of July, when outgoing Vice President Paul Selva was due to retire.
"We conducted a thorough investigation, questioned … 53 witnesses in three countries and 13 states, examined tens of thousands of emails, interviewed people who were closer to the alleged incidents," said a military official, provided that anonymity. "We are running out of stones to return to us."
Unsubstantiated accusations against Hyten included "unwanted kisses, caresses, frictions against" the accuser, said the charge. The news of the investigation follows a series of surprise revelations at the Pentagon, including those that led Patrick Shanahan to resign from his acting Defense Secretary position last month and to the admiral called to become the next Navy uniform officer to announce Sunday his retirement. .
Sources said that the results of the investigation into the charges against Hyten had been reported to the Senate, which has not scheduled a confirmation hearing yet. Hyten is likely to be questioned about them in any testimonial.
The Senate must consider several other key appointments, including to confirm the appointment of Acting Secretary of State for Defense, Mark Esper. On Thursday, he will hold a confirmation hearing for Chief of Staff Mark Milley to become the next president of the Joint Chiefs Staff, Trump's top military advisor.
The US official, who informed a small group of journalists, said an unidentified US military man had brought allegations of nine incidents between 2017 and 2018 against Hyten just days after Trump named him in April. second largest military uniform in the country.
The official said that in accordance with the law, the Air Force had opened on April 15 a criminal investigation conducted by the Office of Special Investigations of the Air Force on these accusations.
As a result of the investigation, the office report was forwarded to an organ overseen by another four-star general to determine if further action was needed, including a military court martial.
"The convening authority of the court martial considered the facts set out in the report and, in the opinion of its counsel, felt that there was not enough evidence to to presume charges against General Hyten or to recommend administrative measures against him, "said the official.
Colonel of the Air Force, DeDe Halfhill, Pentagon spokesman, said that Hyten had cooperated with the investigation and had highlighted his decades of service in a statement.
Report by Jonathan Landay and Phil Stewart; Edited by Cynthia Osterman and Leslie Adler