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The Latest: Lawmakers want perjury inquiry over VA hospital

Posted 9:34 p.m. Thursday
Updated 9:36 p.m. Thursday

— The Latest on members of Congress asking prosecutors for a perjury investigation involving cost overruns at a Denver-area veterans hospital (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has formally asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate whether Veterans Affairs Department executives lied to Congress to conceal massive cost overruns at a Denver-area hospital.

Twenty-one members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee made the request Thursday in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The letter asks for an investigation into statements by Glenn Haggstrom, formerly the department's top official in charge of construction projects, and Stella Fiotes, director of the VA's Office of Construction and Facilities Management.

No one answered a call to Haggstrom's home phone Thursday. Fiotes didn't immediately return a phone message.

The hospital, under construction in suburban Aurora, is expected to cost around $1.7 billion, nearly triple the 2014 estimate.

VA officials declined to comment on the lawmakers' letter, and the Justice Department didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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2:50 a.m.

Some lawmakers say federal prosecutors should investigate whether a former Veterans Affairs Department executive committed perjury when he testified about the cost of a new Denver-area VA hospital.

Florida Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman said Wednesday the Justice Department should investigate Glenn Haggstrom's statements to Congress in 2013 and 2014.

Haggstrom didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

The VA's internal watchdog released a report Wednesday saying Haggstrom knew the project was veering toward huge cost overruns but didn't tell lawmakers that.

Haggstrom was the department's top official in charge of construction projects nationwide. He retired in 2015.

The hospital, now under construction in suburban Aurora, is expected to cost around $1.7 billion, nearly triple the 2014 estimate.

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