Two VA executives accused of arranging moves to new jobs and wrongly collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way refused to answer questions about their behavior Monday, pleading their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in testimony to Congress.
Diana Rubens, who collected more than $274,000 in moving to the troubled benefits office in Philadelphia, and Kimberly Graves, who collected nearly $130,000 as she moved to the St. Paul, Minn., regional benefits office, were excused after about half an hour of refusals to answer questions. But House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller warned them the committee will review whether their Fifth Amendment asserts were legal, and he said they may be forced to come back.
In taut testimony, Antoine Waller, said he did feel “pressure” to leave the St. Paul office and take a lesser position in Baltimore to make room for Ms. Graves.
“My decision to go to Baltimore came with pressure to accept the assignment,” he said, though he added, “I did in fact accept the assignment and went into the opportunity with all of the passion for veterans that I have.”