Senator Requests FBI Investigate Whether DHS Secretary Committed Perjury
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is formally requesting that the FBI investigate whether Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen committed perjury during her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
Merkley pointed out that a memo he released yesterday “flat-out contradicts” Nielsen’s prior statements on the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy which kicked off a humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border.
I’m formally requesting that the @FBI investigate whether @SecNielsen committed perjury during her testimony under oath before @HouseJudiciary. The memo I released yesterday flat-out contradicts her statement that there was no child separation policy. https://t.co/Bj6FDsACv6 pic.twitter.com/KJBxp5A06O
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) January 18, 2019
Merkley’s letter notes that the FBI “has previously indicated that the Department of Justice requires a formal criminal referral from Congress to initiate an investigation concerning Congressional testimony.”
“I write today to execute such a criminal referral,” he writes.
“Compelling new evidence has emerged revealing that high-level Department of Homeland Security officials were secretly and actively developing a new policy and legal framework as far back as December 2017,” he continues. Nielsen’s exact words while under oath during a December 20, 2018 appearance before the House Judiciary Committee were: “I’m not a liar, we’ve never had a policy for family separation.”
The 2017 memo (which you can read HERE) shows that the Trump administration was drafting policy to separate families apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border as early as December 2017.
“This memo really nails down the lies the administration was telling the public,” Merkley told CNN yesterday.
“The secretary of homeland security said that they did not have a policy of child separation. Well, this memo shows that there was a high-level discussion planning for that. The big picture here is while the President is talking about a crisis on the border — from rapists and murderers flooding into America — the administration is talking internally about families applying for asylum and developing a strategy to deter them by the US government inflicting trauma on children.”