Kaine Statement On Hyten Nomination
WASHINGTON, D. C. - U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after voting to advance the nomination of General John Hyten to serve as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military. The nomination now advances to the full Senate for consideration:
“Sexual harassment and assault are pervasive problems in our country and our military, and for far too long they’ve been swept under the rug. The Armed Services Committee conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations against General Hyten. We reviewed the military’s extensive investigation, examined underlying evidence, and engaged in lengthy in-person interviews under oath with both individuals and the military’s investigators. If at the end of this process there had still been ambiguity over whether General Hyten may have committed the heinous crimes described in the allegations, I would have voted against advancing his nomination. But the investigations conducted both by the military and the Committee produced evidence that General Hyten did not sexually assault Colonel Spletstoser or engage in an unprofessional relationship with her. I did not reach this conclusion lightly, but I believe we owe it to the women and men of the military and this nation to follow the facts wherever they lead.”
The military’s investigation into the allegations included interviews with General Hyten, Colonel Spletstoser, the men and women of the StratCom leadership team who worked with General Hyten and Colonel Spletstoser, and members of the security detail who had General Hyten under constant surveillance. It involved numerous interviews with those who have worked with both individuals at earlier points in their careers as well as close review of their personnel files and communications. Based on the investigation, the military, with the approval of then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, determined there was no evidence to corroborate the claims. Kaine reviewed the investigation completed by the military, met with his Committee colleagues about the allegations, participated in the Committee meetings with General Hyten and Colonel Spletstoser, and attended the public hearing on Hyten’s nomination before today’s vote.