Sen. Claire McCaskill blocks promotion of Air Force general over military sexual-assault case

  • A one-on-one meeting with an angry McCaskill must be rough.

If there was any doubt about how focused Sen. Claire McCaskill is on changing the way the military handles sexual-assault cases, take a look at Air Force Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms’ résumé. The Obama administration nominated Helms to be promoted to the position of vice commander of the Air Force’s Space Command. But in April, McCaskill put a temporary hold on Helms’ nomination citing a sexual-assault case Helms ruled on. This week, McCaskill made her hold on the nomination permanent.

The Washington Post reports that last year, Helms granted clemency to an Air Force captain at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California who had been convicted of sexual assault. Helms didn’t attend the captain’s trial and ignored the advice of her legal adviser in granting clemency. She never publicly explained her decision. McCaskill and Helms had a meeting last month. Looks like their chat didn’t go so well for Helms.

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