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Gates To Allow Official To Testify

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has given in to a demand by Rep. Henry Waxman (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that he allow a Defense Department employee, Dr. Kaye Whitley, to testify. The letter from Waxman was also signed by ranking minority member Tom Davis, subcommittee chairman John Tierney (D-Mass.) and ranking member Christopher Shays (R-Conn.).

The letter was sent yesterday; Defense Department officials told Waxman's committee staff today that he had agreed to allow the subpoenaed Dr. Whitley testify, according to a Waxman aide. The committee is in a strong position since a Bush-appointed appeals court judge recently ruled that administration officials are bound by congressional subpoenas.

The committee wants Dr. Whitley to testify as part of its investigation into unreported sexual assault in the military. Department officials had previously testified that they had instructed Dr. Whitley not to respond to the subpoena.  Whitley is the director of the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.