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ICYMI: Julia Ainsley: “Watchdog group: Trump DHS pick made false claims about role in family separation policy”

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Amid the contentious debate on Chad Wolf as acting Homeland Security Secretary, Julia Ainsley for NBC reports recent revelations that Wolf provided false testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee over his role in the family separation policy, which resulted in 5,400 children taken from their parents with no real plan to reunite them. 

Restore Public Trust, the government accountability organization that brought these allegations to the table, sent a letter to the committee arguing that Wolf should be further investigated. The letter states, 

In light of the evidence, it appears Mr. Wolf made a deliberate attempt to mislead the committee about his role in developing the family separation policy in violation of the prohibition against making false statements to Congress…As a result, referring Mr. Wolf to the Department of Justice for investigation into whether and the extent to which he may have provided false testimony to the committee is simply the right thing to do.

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice,

Lying under oath seems to be a common thread for Republicans looking to be promoted to top spots in the Trump government and evidently must have been in the job description for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Here we have another one of Trump’s con men climbing his way to the top, deceiving Congress and the American people. Being willing to cage children and separate families is not good enough, but lying about it, for Wolf, that gets you a ticket to ride the Trump train. Trump’s efforts to nominate Wolf, another hardline anti-immigrant zealot, shows that apparently as acting DHS Secretary, you must be cruel to these immigrants. But you must also be willing to be obedient to Trump’s inhumane policies and his deceits to gain that seat perched under Trump’s throne.

Below are excerpts from the NBC article entitled, “Watchdog group: Trump DHS pick made false claims about role in family separation policy”:

The group, Restore Public Trust, said in a letter sent to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Thursday that Wolf “provided false testimony” to the committee when he claimed he did not help develop the policy that resulted in over 2,800 migrant children being separated from their parents in 2018.

The letter cites NBC News reporting on internal emails that show Wolf including family separation on a list of 16 policy recommendations to curb undocumented immigrants, including asylum seekers, from crossing into the U.S. that he sent to the Justice Department for approval in December of 2017.

In his list of recommendations, Wolf suggested the Trump administration “announce that DHS is considering separating family units, placing adults in detention and placing minors under the age of 18 in the custody of HHS as unaccompanied alien children.” Those exact details became reality in May and June of 2018.

…During the hearing, Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., asked Wolf if he helped develop the family separation policy, known as zero tolerance, that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in the spring of 2018.

“No ma’am,” Wolf told Rosen. “We were given direction both through an executive order and the attorney general’s zero tolerance policy at the time. The discussions that were underway at the Department at that time were operational.”