January 21, 2019

"You've asked the FBI to investigate Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for lying to Congress," CNN's John Berman said to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). "And let me help people understand why. She said before Congress on June 17th, 2018, 'We do not have a policy of separating families at the border.'"

"You were part of a group that released a memo that surfaced from inside Homeland Security which was a draft apparently that said separate family units -- separating family units announce, the DHS is considering separating family units placing the adults in adult detention and the minors under 18 in the custody of HHS as unaccompanied alien children. you see this as proof that she lied to congress?"

"There's actually a piece of an entire framework. So in December 2017, the planning is under way and they're talking about the administration is discussing child separation as an integral part of a policy that will deter families from coming to our border," Merkley said.

"Then in May, when Jeff Sessions announces the policy, he uses the words 'child separation.' When John Kelly gets on the television and talks about it, the president's chief of staff, he talks about child separation as a key piece of deterrence. But then we have the secretary of Homeland Security absolutely denying all of this under oath to Congress and it comes down to this, John: I am just sick and tired of this administration lying to the American people, lying to Congress, doing it under oath, and it's time for some real accountability."

"Has the FBI responded to your request?" Berman asked.

"They have not responded yet, no. But this is the official right way to initiate a referral for pursuit of an investigation regarding perjury."

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