Sen. Rand Paul Puts Forth A Criminal Referral

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

Late this past week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has spoken up and officially submitted a criminal referral to the U.S. Department of Justice concerning the alleged lying to Congress by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

In a statement given to Fox News this past week, Paul stated that he was “sending a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress.”

Later on, Paul sent yet another letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland in which he alleged that Fauci had probably violated 18 U.S. Code § 1001, which reads “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 full 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. 

The people over at FactCheck.org, which has spoken about the controversy over funding in the past, had already reported that the answer to whether NIH money was sent to the Wuhan lab and used as a resource to further gain-of-function research “depends on whom you ask and their definition of gain-of-function.” The full report is available here. the claim about the funding revolves around a large six-figure grant that NIH gave to an organization called EcoHealth Alliance, which directed funds to a project centered at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

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