Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Slams Obama Over Inaction on Military Sexual Assault

“I'm very frustrated with the White House,” she said

Gillibrand is trying to get cases of sexual assault moved from outside the military justice chain of command to trained, independent military prosecutors.

She said that Obama could call for this change himself, but until then, she would seek to get legislation on his desk that would have the same effect.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, fell 10 votes short of a 60-vote threshold last year as an amendment to the NDAA, but Gillibrand said she was hopeful that it would pass this time as new information about the military’s treatment of sexual assault had come to light.

“It’s clear from the data and case files the Defense Department has given us that little has changed, despite their persistent claims that things are getting better,” she said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the Department of Defense’s report to Congress earlier this month on sexual assault, Acting Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness Peter Levine wrote that while there has been progress within the military to prevent and prosecute sexual assault, “more must be done to eliminate this crime.”