The White House announced Wednesday that Jeff Sessions, the nominee for the Veterans Affairs watchdog who has received bipartisan support, will get a top ethics approval in the White House.
President Donald Trump’s transition team announced Wednesday afternoon that Sessions would receive the confirmation of a lifetime appointment to the VA, despite his controversial past as a prosecutor who used his office to target civil rights activists, gay rights activists and other critics.
The VA was created by the George W. Bush administration in 2010 and has grown from a small program serving the nation’s military and veterans to one that covers nearly 70 million veterans.
The agency has come under increased scrutiny from lawmakers and veterans groups since the death of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, an Army veteran who was killed in an ambush in Niger in May 2017.
Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, sued the Trump administration in 2018 alleging that her husband was targeted by retaliation and abuse at the hands of his supervisors.
In a written statement, the VA said Sessions “has served our nation well and will help ensure that VA veterans receive the best care possible.”
Sessions has been a supporter of Trump, and he has said he would appoint someone who would be loyal to Trump and would “stand up for our vets.”
The VA, which serves about 1.6 million veterans, said the transition team had not yet made a final decision on Sessions’ nomination.