The House Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday voted to subpoena Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki after reports that 40 veterans may have died while waiting for treatment at a Phoenix VA hospital.
The committee is calling on Shinseki to produce emails and correspondence he sent to several top VA officials dating back to April 9, 2014.
The American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans group, along with some members of Congress are demanding Shinseki resign after allegations that hospital administrators attempted to cover up the deaths by destroying records of veterans who died while seeking care.
Also on Thursday, Shinseki accepted an invitation from Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair Bernie Sanders to appear the panel on May 15.
Shinseki has brushed aside calls for his resignation, telling NBC News, “I serve at the pleasure of the president.”
The White House issued a statement saying President Barack Obama remains confident in Shinseki.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, also said he is “not ready to join the chorus of people calling on him to step down” during a news conference Thursday.
First published May 8 2014, 7:47 AM
Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News. On 9/11, he was the first at the scene to report that the Pentagon had been attacked and has since led the network's coverage of the war in Afghanistan.
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Since joining NBC in 1985, Miklaszewski was a White House correspondent during the Clinton and Bush administrations, covering President Clinton's transition from Little Rock, his many trips abroad including Moscow and the Middle East and his reelection. He was also an NBC floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1996 and 2000.
In the Bush White House, Miklaszewski reported on the Gulf War with Iraq, summits with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and the Bush reelection campaign in 1992.
Miklaszewski has logged considerable foreign experience with battlefront coverage of wars in Lebanon, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. He also covered the United States air raid on Libya, and the "tanker wars" in the Persian Gulf.