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Shinseki: Report on VA due within 3 weeks

FILE – In this Oct. 9, 2013, file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 9, 2013, file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says he hopes to have a preliminary report within three weeks on how widespread treatment delays and falsified patient scheduling reports are at VA facilities nationwide, following allegations that up to 40 veterans may have died while awaiting treatment at the Phoenix VA center.

Shinseki resisted calls from a Democratic senator to bring in the Justice Department and FBI for a criminal investigation since there’s evidence of VA employees making potentially false statements to the federal government. Shinseki said he first wanted to see results of the audit and a report on the VA inspector general’s office on its investigation of the Phoenix hospital.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said there appears to be “evidence of a crime” by some VA employees.

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