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FBI opens criminal probe of VA over long waits

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI says it has opened a criminal investigation into the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The move comes as Congress takes steps to help thousands of military veterans who've been dealing with long wait times for VA medical care.

FBI Director James Comey says the probe is being led by the FBI's field office in Phoenix. An inspector general's report last month confirmed allegation of excessive waiting times and inappropriate scheduling practices at a VA hospital there.

A U.S. law enforcement official says the Justice Department formally asked the FBI to help review materials provided by the inspector general's office.

The Senate is poised to vote on a measure that would allow veterans to get treatment from local doctors, paid for by the VA, if they've encountered delays getting initial visits to VA facilities.

The measure closely resembles a bill approved with no opposition yesterday in the House.


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