President Trump’s pick to serve as the military’s No. 2 officer will be scheduled for a public confirmation hearing despite sexual misconduct allegations against him, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Thursday.

The confirmation hearing for Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, nominated to serve as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in April, could happen as soon as next week. It is not clear whether his accuser, an Army colonel, will also be a part of a public hearing.

The panel’s chairman, Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), told reporters of his plan after a closed-door meeting with Hyten on Thursday in which they discussed the allegations.


The panel’s members met earlier with Hyten’s accuser, and many were still weighing the competing stories.

“I’m trying to determine what the facts are, and that’s very much in contention,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who has said he finds the accuser to be credible. “The factual differences are very stark.”


The public hearing is expected to be dominated by questions about the allegations that Hyten made sexually abusive contact with the colonel on more than a half-dozen occasions, including in a California hotel room during the Reagan National Defense Forum in December 2017.

Hyten has denied the allegations.

The colonel was relieved of her duties while serving on Hyten’s staff after being accused of creating a toxic work environment.

The Air Force’s criminal investigative services examined the allegations against Hyten and shared their findings with the Armed Services Committee — to mixed reviews from its members.

Some senators questioned whether the process was fair to the accuser, but Inhofe has said he thought the inquiry was “very thorough.”

Hyten is currently in charge of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.