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Senate panel votes to advance Trump’s pick to be military’s No. 2, despite sexual assault allegations

WASHINGTON — The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday to recommend that President Trump’s pick to be the military’s second-highest officer be confirmed by the full Senate, despite an Army colonel’s allegations that he repeatedly sexually assaulted her while she served under him.

The vote was 20 to 7, reflecting bipartisan support for General John Hyten, currently in charge of the national’s nuclear arsenal as the head of US Strategic Command.

The vote reflected bipartisan opposition, after Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, decided to vote against recommending Hyten’s confirmation due to ‘‘his inability to address toxic leadership and exercise sound judgment while serving as STRATCOM Commander.’’

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Hyten appeared before the committee for his confirmation hearing Tuesday, and denied Colonel Kathryn Spletstoser’s charges that during 2017, he tried to kiss or have sex with her on multiple occasions.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations’ probe produced a 1,400-page report that did not substantiate Spletstoser’s claims, according to the military and senators on the panel.

washington post