Sen. Merkley asks FBI to investigate DHS secretary

January 18, 2019 - 5:02 pm

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 were secretly outlining a policy to separate families.

In April 2018, Attorney Jeff Sessions 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 were a result of the zero-tolerance policy because children can't be jailed with their parents.

FBI and Homeland Security officials had no immediate comment.

Merkley, of Oregon, is considering a presidential run.

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