(CNN) – Records of dead veterans were changed to hide how many people died while awaiting care at Phoenix VA hospital, whistle-blower tells CNN in stunning revelations that point to a new cover up in the ongoing VA scandal.
The allegation comes from the scheduling clerk who, for the better part of a year, says she was ordered to keep a secret waiting list in her desk drawer. Pauline DeWenter has never spoken publicly about any of it - until now.
Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin has the exclusive interview.
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The political gasbag crowd in Washington may focus directly on the upset primary loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. But whomever wins the seat—Republican or Democrat—they’ll arrive at a House of Representatives not only raising money for themselves but for every other member of their party as well.
It’s more or less an open secret in Washington, but little known outside the Beltway. Each incumbent member, no matter which political party, is expected to raise funds based on a sliding scale to help elect other members of his or her party. Critics, like Peter Schweizer, head of the watchdog group The Government Accountability Institute, call it a “pay to play” system. Leaders are expected to raise upwards of $500,000 each election cycle; committee chairs about $200,000 or so and then on downwards. Are you head of an important committee in the House? That will cost you more. Committee assignments are rated “A”, “B” and “C”, with the “A” committee chairs expected to raise more than the people who chair the “C” committees.
CNN Investigations obtained some still photographs from inside the Republican National Campaign Committee showing to the penny how much money each member has raised to date, how much they are expected to raise and how far behind they may be.
Watch Senior Investigations Correspondent Drew Griffin unpeel the onion in Washington again, all part of AC360’s “Congress For Sale” series running all this year.
Reparative therapy is also known as gay conversion therapy. There is no scientific evidence this practice works and groups like the American Psychiatric Association have condemned it. New Jersey and California banned reparative therapy for minors, but the Texas Republican Party endorsed the practice and voted to add this language to their platform:
"We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy."
Texas State Representative Bryan Hughes spoke to Anderson and defended his vote in favor of the measure.
The Department of Veterans Affairs released its internal audit showing just how widespread the problems are in the agency. Drew Griffin reports on the stunning findings.
A White House official tells CNN that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is "on thin ice" with President Obama. The number of lawmakers from both parties calling for Shinseki's resignation is growing. Lawmakers vented their frustration after senior VA officials testified at a House hearing yesterday evening. Drew Griffin's reporting on the VA scandal has been Keeping Them Honest for months.
Anderson looked at the enormity of this crisis for the White House with political analyst David Gergen and Congressman Jeff Miller, who is the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
A shocking new report on problems at the Phoenix VA hospital details at least 1,700 veterans who were waiting to see a doctor and were never scheduled for an appointment. They were also never placed on a wait list. A new report from the VA's Office of the Inspector General confirms much of what AC360 has been reporting for months now. It found vets spent months waiting for care and Phoenix employees cooked the books to hide it. The scandal is expanding with 42 VA hospitals now under investigation. Drew Griffin is Keeping Them Honest and has the latest on the shocking report.
Anderson discussed the findings with Drew Griffin along with Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
The daughter of a Vietnam veteran talks to Drew Griffin about the father she lost and his ordeal trying to get care from the Phoenix VA hospital. Priscilla Valdez says her dad spent months trying to get an appointment, but was continually told to wait longer. Pedro Valdez died of acute respiratory failure. Now she wants to know if his name was on one of the alleged VA secret waiting lists.
President Obama's point-man on the Veterans Affairs scandal arrived at the Phoenix VA hospital today. Rob Nabors' visit comes as VA Secretary Eric Shinseki released a statement promising to act "if any allegations under review are substantiated." But VA officials failed to show up to face questions from the House committee investigating the scandal. Drew Griffin has been covering the VA's care crisis for months and has the latest from Phoenix.
Paul Rieckhoff is the CEO and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He discussed the scandal with Anderson saying "most of America is just finding out about this now, but veterans have known about it for years"
Today President Obama responded directly to allegations of VA hospitals manipulating records to hide alleged deadly delays in care. This is a story that Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin has been reporting on for months, and the details are shocking. Drew spoke with Dr. Kathrine Mitchell, a whistleblower who runs the Phoenix VA's Post-Deployment Clinic. She described vets returning from the battlefield with traumatic injuries and forced to wait for care "six months, nine months or longer." She also told Drew how she saved and hid the alleged fake waiting lists before they could be destroyed.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are also taking action. Anderson Cooper and Drew Griffin discussed all of today's developments with Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
For months on AC360, CNN Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin has reported on the delays at VA hospitals. Some veterans have died while waiting for care, according to a former VA doctor.
An internal Veterans Affairs memo from 2010 has now surfaced after being first disclosed during a congressional hearing. The four-year-old memo shows VA deputy undersecretary William Schoenhard warned of "inappropriate scheduling practices" and a growing practice of "gaming strategies" being used to cover up excessive waits for veterans.
Drew Griffin and Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta report the latest details. Plus, the first whistleblower from the Phoenix VA, Dr. Sam Foote, joins the conversation and weighs in on the developments.