Senate panel cancels hearing for controversial Pentagon policy chief nominee

By Justin Doubleday / July 30, 2020 at 9:33 AM

The Senate Armed Services Committee has canceled today's nomination hearing for Anthony Tata, the controversial nominee to serve as the next under secretary of defense for policy.

The committee was scheduled to hold the hearing this morning, but it was abruptly canceled less than two hours before it was to begin.

In a statement, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said he spoke to President Trump last night and told him the hearing should be called off, as the committee didn't receive some required documents from Tata's team in time.

"There are many Democrats and Republicans who didn't know enough about Anthony Tata to consider him for a very significant position at this time," Inhofe said. "We didn't get the required documentation in time; some documents, which we normally get before a hearing, didn't arrive until yesterday. As I told the President last night, we're simply out of time with the August recess coming, so it wouldn't serve any useful purpose to have a hearing at this point, and he agreed."

Tata's nomination has been the subject of intense criticism from Democrats, and there have been questions about whether he has enough Senate GOP votes to overcome the opposition.

A retired Army brigadier general and ally of President Trump who frequently appeared on Fox News in recent years, Tata is also a senior adviser to Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Among other contentious statements, Tata once called former President Barack Obama a "terrorist leader."