WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic senator is asking the FBI to investigate whether Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen lied during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a letter to the FBI that a December 2017 memo shows DHS officials outlined a policy to separate families.
In April 2018, the Trump administration instituted the “zero-tolerance” policy where anyone caught crossing the border illegally was criminally prosecuted. It resulted in the separation of nearly 2,800 children.
Nielsen said at the hearing last December there wasn’t a policy to separate families. She said the separations under zero tolerance happened because children can’t be jailed with parents.
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Homeland Security officials said the secretary rejected the 2017 memo’s suggestion and reiterated there was no policy to separate families. The FBI had no comment.
Merkley, of Oregon, is considering a presidential run.