Defense Secretary Backs Changes to Handling of Sexual Assault Cases (1 Viewer)

Jennifer Steinhauer

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WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III suggested to lawmakers on Thursday that he supported changes to the way the military handles sexual assault cases, but he declined to endorse a measure long pushed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, that would cut the military chain of command out of the prosecution of many other serious crimes as well.

Mr. Austin’s support for changes around sexual assault cases represents a major shift for military leadership, which has long resisted calls to end the practice of handling such...

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