Senator Johnson Finds no Justification for Fauci’s Email Redaction

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Senator Johnson recently sounded off over the lack oversight in the Senate Oversight Committee, which is charged with subpoenaing documents, auditing and conducting oversight of government agencies, and when needed providing citizens with information through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) based on their right to know. Fauci’s agencies NIH/NIAID seem to think no one has a right to know about the illegal gain-of-function bioweapon programs being conducted offshore in China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and other places. In fact, Fauci and the agencies he is charged with running are thumbing their noses at the committee.

 

Senator Johnson Calls For More Transparency In Fauci Communications
Senator Johnson: Don’t exactly have a score on the grant programs would be contemplating here, but whatever the costs would be my memo would just simply fund those from the unobligated funds of the American rescue plan. It’s pretty simple, a pretty simple amendment. But while I have the floor here, I do want to speak to another issue that I thinks is important to this committee. Um, this committee is the Senate Oversight Committee. Now, when I was chair for six years, I know there was some support for investigations, some of my oversight, sometimes there wasn’t. But, when we have hearings on nominees, we ask them a question: whether or not they will comply with legitimate senate oversight requests. And they always say, Yes, and that’s also true of the health committee. Uh, five senators, uh, from this committee, uh, sent letters to the NIH and CDC, and then sent away to the CDC and HHS. And we invoked 5UFC2954, which states, “That executive AMC on request of the Committee of Homeland Security, where any five members thereof shall submit any information of or relating to any matter within the jurisdiction of this committee. Now again, this committee has broad oversight jurisdiction. Um, we have not gotten those oversight letters responded to, not effectively, not in a complete format. Um, Mr. Chairman, I sent you a letter, also signed by five senators, requesting you utilize this committee’s power to compel the agencies to follow the law.

They shall supply the information. Now, I just want to use one example, um, a letter we sent to HHS secretary Becerra requesting the unredacted emails from Anthony Fauci that were provided under a forwarding request to a number of different outside groups. We requested those same emails unredacted. By the way, congressional oversight is not subject to the redactions is not subject to the redactions under FOIA. We should have received those unredacted. Um, proof of the fact that the redactions are not valid, I just have copies of one of the emails. This is an email from Peter Daszak dated April 18, and it’s just thanking Anthony Fauci for basically covering for EcoHealth Alliance. You can see from what was produced to the committee, and in the FOIA request, we have a big redaction here.

 

Redacted Email to Fauci by EcoAlliance Head Peter Daszac
And it was redacted supposedly because it was related to an open law enforcement investigation. We basically got the same 4,000 pages, the five senators, uh, except that on this one email, they failed to redact it, so now we know what’s under the redaction. Let me just read you, what was supposedly related to an open investigation. It says, “It has been a very hard few months, as these conspiracy theorists have gradually become politicized and hardened in their stance, especially because the work we’ve been doing in collaboration with Chinese virologists have given us incredible into the risks that these viruses represent, so we can directly help protect our nation from bat origin coronaviruses. We’re fighting to keep our communications open with our Chinese colleagues so that we can better address future pandemics like CoViD-19.”

 

I have no idea why that would be redacted in an oversight response to congress. I have no idea how that paragraph could be related to an open law enforcement investigation. So, I won’t describe this any further other than to again make the point: This law that we are invoking that requires…that tells these agencies they shall turn over this information—this is a one-hundred- year law—it’s been modified two times, most recently in 1994 signed by Bill Clinton. The supreme court has affirmed congress’s need to have information to write effective legislation. For too many years—and again I was the brunt of it for six years as the chairman of this committee—government agencies, regardless of the administration have thumbed their nose at congressional oversight. They just simply refuse to comply. So, we end up being completely ineffective in an incredibly important constitutional duty and responsibility od congress. Now again, there is no reason—they have the emails. All they have to do is provide them to the five centers that have requested them in an unredacted fashion.

 

By the way our other oversight request is to CDC regarding any contact between the teachers’ unions and the CDC regarding their reopening of school guidance. Was that based on science or was that based on political pressure? I think the public has a right to know. So again, is the senate committee and oversight? If we sit back and do nothing, administrations in the future, regardless of whether they’re Republican or Democrat—whether Democrats are in the majority in the senate or Republicans are—administrations will continue to ignore our oversight requests, and we will not be able to fulfill our constitutional duty and responsibility to our constituents. So, I would hope that every member of this committee with join those five senators that joined me, and use this committee’s power to subpoena those records to say in a very strong unanimous voice congress will not be ignored. Our oversight responsibilities are important, and we demand, we insist that the administration provides us this information…

Source Cited
Forbes Breaking News, “‘No Idea Why That Would Be Redacted’: Johnson Calls For More Transparency In Fauci Communications,” August 4, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKyda16KrJ8

 

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