Sen. Rand Paul Sends Criminal Referral For Fauci To Department Of Justice

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) officially sent a criminal referral to the U.S. Department of Justice late last week over Dr. Anthony Fauci allegedly lying to Congress.

Paul told Fox News last week that he was “sending a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress.”

Paul later sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, alleging that Fauci had potentially violated 18 U.S. Code § 1001, which states “whoever ‘makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation’ as part of ‘any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate’ is subject to criminal fines and imprisonment of up to five years.”

The letter stated:

I write to urge the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into testimony made to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), on May 11, 2021.

As one of the institutes that compose the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIAID funds many scientific projects both in the U.S. and elsewhere. In response to questioning by me, Dr. Fauci testified that ‘the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’

In May 2016, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity released a report entitled Recommendations for the Evaluation and Oversight of Proposed Gain-of-Function Research, which stated, ‘[t]he term ‘gain-of-function’ is generally used to refer to changes resulting in the acquisition of new, or an enhancement of existing, biological phenotypes.’

In a paper entitled ‘Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origins of SARS coronaviruses,’ Dr. Zheng-Li Shi describes research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and funded under NIAID Award R01AI110964 in which the spike genes from two uncharacterized bat SARS-related coronavirus strain, Rs4231 and Rs7327, were combined with the genomic backbone of another SARS-related coronavirus to create novel chimeric SARS-related viruses that showed cytopathic effects in in primate epithelial cells and replication in human epithelial cells. These experiments combined genetic information from different SARS-related coronaviruses and combined them to create novel, artificial viruses able to infect human cells. This research, conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and funded under NIAID Award R01AI110964, fits the definition of gain-of-function research.

Under 18 U.S. Code § 1001, whoever ‘makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation’ as part of ‘any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate’ is subject to criminal fines and imprisonment of up to five years. I ask that you investigate whether Dr. Fauci’s statements to Congress on May 11, 2021 violated that statute or any other.

I l0ok forward to your timely response. 

FactCheck.org, which has covered the funding controversy in the past, previously reported that the answer to whether NIH funding was directed to the Wuhan lab and used to further gain-of-function research “depends on whom you ask and their definition of gain-of-function.” (Read the full report here.) The funding claim revolves around a six-figure grant that NIH provided to a group called EcoHealth Alliance, which directed money toward a project at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Josh Rogin, a columnist at The Washington Post, summarized the exchange between Fauci and Paul by writing on Twitter: “Hey guys, @RandPaul was right and Fauci was wrong. The NIH was funding gain of function research in Wuhan but NIH pretended it didn’t meet their ‘gain of function’ definition to avoid their own oversight mechanism. SorryNotSorry if that doesn’t fit your favorite narrative.”

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