How Criminal Referral Works

After months of clashing with Anthony Fauci in Senate hearings, Sen. Rand Paul has referred Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and chief medical adviser to the president, to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. Paul argues that Fauci lied to Congress earlier this year about whether the U.S. was funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the lab near where the first COVID outbreak was recorded.

Paul alleges that Fauci lied during a Senate hearing in May when he denied that National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants had been used to fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Lying to Congress is a federal crime that can carry up to five years in prison.

Arguing that a 2015 paper authored by Shi Zhengli, a researcher at the Wuhan lab, proved that the NIH funded studies on increasing the transmissibility of animal viruses to humans, Paul asked Fauci, “do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?”

“We did not fund gain-of-function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Fauci responded.

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