WASHINGTON — Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician nominated to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, provided such “a large supply” of Percocet, a prescription opioid, to a White House Military Office staff member that he threw his own medical staff “into a panic” when it could not account for the missing drugs, according to a summary of questionable deeds compiled by the Democratic staff of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
A nurse on his staff said Dr. Jackson had written himself prescriptions, and when caught, he simply asked a physician assistant to provide him with the medication.
And at a Secret Service going away party, the doctor got intoxicated and “wrecked a government vehicle,” according to the summary.
The two-page document, distributed by committee Democrats, fleshes out three categories of accusations — prescription drug misuse, hostile work environment and drunkenness — that threaten to derail President Trump’s nominee. Committee staff members say the summary details the testimony of 23 current and former colleagues of Dr. Jackson, many of whom are still in the military.
An aide to Senator Jon Tester of Montana, the top Democrat on the committee, said each allegation included in the document was based on information provided by two or more individuals.
The new details came as White House officials on Wednesday ratcheted up their public defense of Dr. Jackson, calling the charges of workplace misconduct “outrageous,” even as new episodes of questionable conduct surfaced.
Dr. Jackson told reporters at the White House that he had “no idea where that is coming from” but categorically denied the car accident. “I have not wrecked a car. I can tell you that,” he said, adding that “we’re still moving ahead as planned.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, told reporters earlier Wednesday afternoon that Dr. Jackson had been the subject of at least four background investigations, including by the F.B.I., during his time at the White House, which dates to 2006. None, she said, had turned up areas for concern, and Dr. Jackson had drawn praise from colleagues and presidents in each administration he worked for.
“None of those things have come up in the four separate background investigations that have taken place,” she said, referring to the recent allegations. “There’s been no area of concern that was raised for Dr. Jackson specifically.”
But when pressed, Ms. Sanders said she could not comment on the credibility of specific charges.
“These are new,” she said. “I can only speak to some of the personal accounts that those of us have, as well as the records that we have that are substantiated through a very detailed and thorough background investigation process.”
Among those new charges she did not address: During an overseas trip by the Obama administration in 2015, Dr. Jackson went out drinking, came back to the delegation’s hotel and began banging on the door of a staff member’s hotel room, according to an account shared with Mr. Tester. The noise was so loud that members of the Secret Service came to see what was happening and warned Dr. Jackson to be quiet so he would not wake the president, who was staying nearby.
The episode was first reported by CNN.
On another trip during Barack Obama’s presidency, White House staff members reached out to Dr. Jackson for medical reasons but found him passed out in his hotel room after a night of drinking, Tester aides said. The staff members took the medical supplies they were looking for without waking Dr. Jackson.
The document prepared by the Democratic staff of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee paints a picture of a medical office that was casual with the prescribing and distribution of drugs but terrorized by a mercurial boss, quick to anger. According to the summary, interviewed staff members described Dr. Jackson as “the most unethical person I have ever worked with,” “flat-out unethical” and “incapable of not losing his temper,” among other charges.
The document includes allegations that Dr. Jackson regularly distributed Ambien, a prescription sleep aid, to members of the White House staff and members of the news media flying on long overseas trips, as well as another prescription drug to promote wakefulness.
It says that the committee was told that physicians working with Dr. Jackson “felt uncomfortable and refused to be a part of the loose dispensing of drugs to current and former” White House staff members. It also states that Dr. Jackson “also had private stocks of controlled substances.”
The document says that the panel received testimony that the White House medical unit “had questionable record keeping for pharmaceuticals” and that the committee was told that Dr. Jackson would often account for pills only after distributing them.
Members of the committee continue to investigate the claims. But by Wednesday evening, the tone had shifted in the Senate.
“I see no realistic path forward for this nomination,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut and a member of the committee. “He cannot lead this agency dragging all that baggage into the V.A. — even if he could have compensated for his lack of experience.”
Republicans were not ready to defend him.
“I think what the committee is doing right now is the proper due diligence, and it’s both Republicans and Democrats,” said Senator Dan Sullivan, Republican of Alaska.
Dr. Jackson had been scheduled to testify before the Senate panel on Wednesday, but its top Republican and Democrat announced on Tuesday that the session would be postponed to allow more time to investigate the claims.
Before the allegations about the Percocet emerged, Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia, the committee’s chairman, said that he intended to hold a confirmation hearing for Dr. Jackson, but would first need to receive documents that he and Mr. Tester requested on Dr. Jackson’s time at the White House. To speculate on the nominee’s fate before then, he said, would be unfair.
“He deserves a hearing, and he’s going to get it,” Mr. Isakson said.
An aide to Mr. Tester said on Wednesday that other former colleagues of Dr. Jackson had reached out to the committee to share stories since details of its investigation became public.
The White House’s pushback — both in public and behind the scenes — was targeted toward the general allegations and not specific episodes, many of which appear to have occurred during the Obama administration.
Marc Short, the White House’s legislative affairs director, told reporters that the White House would be requesting a confirmation hearing. Dr. Jackson told reporters in brief comments on Tuesday that he was looking forward to testifying to respond to the charges against him.
Mr. Short pushed back against assertions that Dr. Jackson had casually doled out prescription drugs.
“Every year they come in and they do a review of the White House physician’s office on things like prescriptions,” Mr. Short told reporters. “And every year, they’ve said that he’s totally in compliance with what he’s been prescribing.”
On Capitol Hill, some Republican senators worried that Dr. Jackson was being asked to account for anonymous accusations that had not yet been fully vetted. Others were still awaiting access to the more detailed charges collected by Mr. Tester and others on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“For us to hound somebody out just because somebody can make an accusation strikes me as unfair,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican, said before the Democratic memo emerged.
Mr. Cornyn defended Dr. Jackson’s reported distribution of Ambien and other drugs during long trips as nothing out of the ordinary. He said that because Dr. Jackson was a doctor, it was not a problem that he distributed the drugs, even without writing a prescription.
“On overseas travel, yeah, sure, people take Ambien to help them transition through time zones,” he said. “It’s pretty common, I’m led to believe.”
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