Grace Meng Said Commerce Sec Lied to Her and Must Be Investigated by DOJ
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday asking him to investigate Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for possible crimes related to making false statements with respect to documents required by law to be submitted to Congress. Ross testified before Congress that adding the citizenship question wasn’t even his department’s idea; it supposedly happened because the Justice Department requested it. But looks like what actually happened was the Commerce Department asked the DOJ to ask the Commerce Department to ask for the citizenship question, to create what was in effect a false paper trail to cover up what it was actually doing. Many argue that the addition of the question is intended to discourage immigrants, especially Hispanics, from registering with the Census. The decennial count, overseen by the Commerce Department, is used to determine electoral boundaries as well as a host of government programs and benefits. It’s also important to note that a citizenship question has not appeared on the decennial Census for 70 years. The story the administration came up with was that the citizenship question is necessary in order to properly enforce the Voting Rights Act -- an assertion many have called a lie. The DOJ said Thursday that the idea of the citizenship question came from Trump advisors, including former advisor Steve Bannon. And while responding to a question from Meng, Ross said he was not aware of any discussions with White House advisers before he began looking into the idea. “He lied straight to my face,” Meng said. DOJ’s additional document reveals that Ross had spoken directly with Bannon about adding a citizenship question. “I don’t like being lied to. I’m absolutely incensed that Secretary Ross lied to me when I asked him if he had spoken with anyone in the White House about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census,” said Meng. Read her full letter to Sessions here.