Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry sent a letter Friday to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding he open a fraud investigation into Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, saying he believes Austin knowingly made a false statement about military members’ religious liberties in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the letter, first obtained by the Daily Caller, Perry claimed Austin violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001, which says it is a crime to make a false statement “within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States.”
Perry wrote the letter after a report claimed documents allegedly showed the U.S. Navy plans to deny religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Perry mentioned Austin’s August 9, 2021 memorandum, where he said the DOD takes freedom of religion and worship seriously and that there would be a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine.
Perry claimed Austin has engaged in fraud after reading the documents reportedly submitted by Navy sailors at Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station in Pensacola, Florida. In the documents, several sailors are requesting a religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“Americans have a word for knowingly misleading or deceiving someone into believing something that the perpetrator knows to be false – fraud. But that’s exactly what this feckless administration has engaged in yet again when they promised to preserve our warriors’ religious rights through exemption, but had absolutely no intention of doing so,” Perry told the Daily Caller before their office hand-delivered the letter.
“On the heels of President Biden’s disaster in Afghanistan, this unconscionable, reprehensible, and outrageous sham is yet another slap in the face to those who protect our Nation and our American way of life,” Perry added.
READ THE LETTER HERE:
“Under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, it is a crime for an individual to ‘knowingly and willfully … make any materially false, fictious, or fraudulent statement or representation’ within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States. Through his memorandum and subsequent presiding over the forced vaccination of Service Members and DoD employees without regard for or consideration of their religious liberties, Secretary Austin knowingly made a statement that is utterly and intentionally false. Accordingly, I refer Secretary Lloyd Austin for violation(s) of 18 U.S.C. § 1001,” the letter states. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Urge Secretary Of Defense To Reconsider Vaccine Mandates In Military)
Earlier Friday, Republican Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson and a group of House Republicans sent a letter to Austin, calling on him to prove that a vaccine mandate does not negatively impact readiness and or negatively impact the DOD’s ability to conduct operations globally despite a possible loss of personnel. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Send Letter To Secretary Cardona Calling Against Federal Vaccine Mandate For Public School Students)
Biden urged more private sector companies to impose vaccine requirements in August after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer vaccine.
The Pentagon is requiring all military service members to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Daily Caller contacted the DOD about Perry’s letter to which they did not immediately respond.