New bill would boost whistleblower protections for military sexual assault victims

New bill would boost whistleblower protections for military sexual assault victims

In the wake of whistleblower and leak cases that have shaken the U.S. military and intelligence community, Democratic lawmakers introduced new legislation on Wednesday to protect military whistleblowers.

The bill from Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; and Edward Markey, D-Mass., as well as Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who introduced it in the House, would also carve out safeguards for a group not often associated with the term whistleblower: survivors of military sexual assault.

“Servicemembers who bravely speak out about wrongdoing or misconduct — especially sexual assault survivors — deserve to know that they will be protected from retaliation,” Boxer said in a release.

The “Legal Justice for Servicemembers Act” would bring the burden of proof in such cases in line with standards for other federal civilian employees, and enable Inspectors General to suspend punitive actions against a whistleblower. It also would reform military correction boards to help troops receive restitution for any retaliation.

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