President Trump met with the family of Fort Hood soldier killed Vanessa Guillen Thursday in an emotional meeting and announced his support for a new congressional bill aimed at changing how sexual and sexual abuse cases of harassment are handled by the military.
The lawyer representing the family, Natalie Khawam, joined mother and sisters Guillen for an appearance Thursday afternoon with President Trump at the Oval Office.
“Her daughter died. Her daughter died while serving her country in the hands of people who are in the military,” a translator told Trump. “She just wants your help to get the truth, get justice.”
Trump, who allegedly invited Guillen̵7;s relatives to come and tell their story, asked Khawam to tell the media about the case she represented, adding that he did not want Guillen’s story to be. ” swept under the carpet. “
Khawan described the situation of sexual harassment and assault in the military as “caught in a scab” and found it a “sect.” Guillen’s family had said the soldier was a victim of sexual harassment.
“It’s a systemic problem,” Khawam told Trump in the Oval Office. “There’s not enough protection in place, because we get nervous about retaliation.”
Khawam went on to say that the military was not transparent or helpful in obtaining answers to the murder of Guillen, who was killed on a base, in the Fort Hood armory.
The bill Trump is expected to announce support for is titled the #IamVanessaGuillen Bill, and would allow members of the active labor service to report sexual harassment or assault to a third party outside the chain. their command. The aim is to eliminate fears of retaliation that discourage soldiers from reporting abuse by superiors.
“My daughter is already a story,” the soldier’s mother, Gloria Guillen, told a crowd in Spanish Thursday morning during a news conference at the National Mall. “If the president of the nation wants to make history along with my daughter, he will ensure that the devil’s base is closed and all the damned corruption that exists in the Army is cleaned up.”
VANESSA GUILLEN BODY TAKEN, SOLDIER WRITTEN IN THE FORM OF A BAG WRITTEN FOR ANOTHER, OTHER SUSPECTED IN CUSTODY: FAMILY JUDGMENT
“I’m a 16-year-old girl – a woman standing here talking to my sister. I want Congress to go through #IamVanessaGuillen,” said Vanessa Guillén’s younger sister, Lupe.
The Army on Thursday also named an independent group of five experts to investigate the culture in Fort Hood around the time of Guillen’s disappearance. The review will be led by Chris Swecker, a lawyer and former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division.
“The Army is committed to caring for our soldiers, civilians, families, and soldiers for life, and this independent review will explore the current command of climate and culture at Fort Hood,” he said. -Army. Ryan McCarthy in a statement, according to US Today.
Guillen was reported missing from the U.S. Army base in Texas in April. She was believed to have been praised to death and dismembered by fellow soldiers on the base. Her remains were found in late June and the main suspect, Spc. Aaron Robinson, shot and killed himself as law enforcement closed on him in the neighboring town of Killeen, officials said. Robinson’s girlfriend, Cecily Ann Aguilar, 22, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges where she allegedly helped set aside the body and hide the evidence.
“We will not accept anything less than justice for Vanessa,” Khawam said in a statement. “When someone offers volunteers to serve our country, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by members of their peers’ service. This bill will help us provide protection and respect for others who have been rejected by Vanessa. . “
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Khawam and Guillen’s family stated that Robinson was sexually harassing Guillen, who described one instance during which he saw her shower at the base. Army investigators revealed earlier this month that Guillen had never lodged a formal complaint but may have been harassed in unrelated matters under investigation.
Khawam and her clients are to hold another news conference at The Ellipse, a park south of the White House fence, to talk about the private meeting with the president and the next steps.