Dr. Jen Peña, a military physician detailed to Vice President Mike Pence, has resigned following reports that she was among the whistleblowers who brought complaints to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee about Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the former nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary.
“The Vice President’s office was informed today by the White House Medical Unit of the resignation,” Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said. “Physicians assigned to the Vice President report to the White House Medical Unit and thus any resignation would go entirely through the Medical Unit, not the Vice President’s office.”
Peña had accused Jackson of inappropriately intervening in a medical situation involving Pence’s wife Karen and potentially violating her federal privacy rights by briefing White House staff and disclosing details to other medical providers without consulting her,CNN reported without directly naming Peña — part of the condition under which internal documents she wrote were shared with the news outlet.
Peña had wrote a memo about a confrontation with Jackson over her concerns, saying Jackson made her feel “uncomfortable” and consider resigning, according to CNN.
President Donald Trump has attacked Senate Veterans’ Affairs ranking member Jon Tester for releasing allegations against Jackson that had not yet been proven true, prompting Jackson to withdraw his nomination. The president even called on the Montana Democrat to resign and suggested he had dirt on the senator that would prevent him from ever being re-elected.
Trump has said the Secret Service looked into the allegations against Jackson and could not verify them.
Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, however, seemingly verified CNN’s report about Peña, saying it matched some of the information presented to the Senate panel before Jackson withdrew his name from consideration.
“Part of the allegations made in one of the affidavits was verified,” the Georgia Republican said.