- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday stuck by embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, saying that firing him would be the “easy” way out.

“It is easy to call for someone at the top to go. Is it a solution?” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said at her weekly press conference at the Capitol.

At least 70 lawmakers have called for the ouster of Mr. Shinseki, including more than a dozen House Democrats.

Mrs. Pelosi blamed lower-level VA officials at hospitals who kept the secret waiting lists to conceal the long delay of treatment for patients, which she said were also hidden from Mr. Shinseki and Congress.

“They kept the information form the secretary and the Congress. So let’s reward them by removing the secretary?” asked Mrs. Pelosi.

Still, she joined other lawmakers who have called for a Justice Department investigation of possible “criminal” wrongdoing in the Veterans Affairs scandal.

Mrs. Pelosi said the a Justice Department investigation was needed to get to the bottom of what happened and determine who should be held accountable, possibly for criminal offenses.

“This is shameful in every way. We’ll find out if it’s criminal,” she said.