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‘Who Did This?!’: Senator Explodes on VA Officials Over ‘Reprehensible Reprisal’ of Whistleblowers

“That sounds like a reprisal to me — to a dead person!"

The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee scolded officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs over retaliatory actions the agency allegedly took against whistleblowers who tried to expose corruption.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) grilled Deputy Inspector General Linda Halliday over the accusations, reading from a subpoenaed white paper recommending a review of alleged "voluminous amounts of marijuana" found at the home of whistleblower Dr. Christopher Kirkpatrick. The doctor, who raised questions about patients being overmedicated, committed suicide in 2009 when he was fired from the VA facility he worked at.

“That sounds like a reprisal to me — to a dead person!" Johnson said. "What will the VA do to make good on this? To make up for this reprisal, this reprehensible reprisal?”

Halliday replied that she did not prepare the document.

“Who did?! Who did this?! I want to know every individual involved in writing this report!” Johnson shouted back.

"I'd have to take that for the record," Halliday said, to which Johnson agreed to leave it as an "open question for the record."

Johnson said he was "upset coming in here," adding that he had grown "more upset."

An official from the office said that the agency could explore possible disciplinary action against the author of the white paper, to which Johnson said he would be happy to work with officials on.

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