Duckworth Demands Senate Armed Services Hearing On BountyGate
[WASHINGTON, DC] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, is demanding a Senate hearing to get to the bottom of reports that Donald Trump has known for months that Russia secretly offered bounties to militants for the killing of American troops, but has done nothing to protect those troops. In a letter to SASC Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), Duckworth wrote
“I request that the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hold an open hearing as soon as possible to examine the stunning revelations that…President Trump failed to authorize any action in response to the [Russian military intelligence service] covertly providing bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing U.S. servicemembers in Afghanistan.”
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She continued: “Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, military families and the American people deserve answers and accountability for President Trump’s outrageous failure of leadership and apparent betrayal of our troops.”
The full text of Duckworth’s letter is available below:
Dear Chairman Inhofe:
I request that the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hold an open hearing as soon as possible to examine the stunning revelations first published in The New York Times and subsequently confirmed by reporting in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal: our Nation’s Intelligence Community (IC) concluded – several months ago – that Unit 29155 of the Russian military intelligence service (GRU) covertly offered financial rewards to Taliban-linked militants for killing U.S. servicemembers deployed to Afghanistan.
According to these reports, the IC briefed President Donald Trump on its conclusions that the GRU was secretly offering bounties for killing U.S. servicemembers and coalition forces. A March 2020 interagency meeting was convened where Trump administration officials provided the White House with a “menu of potential options – starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses.” The most disturbing disclosure is that following the interagency meeting, President Trump failed to authorize any action in response to the GRU covertly offering bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing U.S. servicemembers in Afghanistan.
Far from punishing the Russian Federation, on June 3, 2020, President Trump confirmed that he wanted Vladimir Putin to attend the G7 summit later this year. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, military families and the American people deserve answers and accountability for President Trump’s outrageous failure of leadership and apparent betrayal of our troops.
Accordingly, I ask that SASC hold an open hearing to receive testimony from the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Commander of the Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces-Afghanistan. SASC should also hold a closed hearing in a sensitive compartmented information facility to allow for discussion of classified information. Thank you in advance for consideration of my urgent request.
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