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Rand Paul says he is sending Justice Department criminal referral on Fauci

The two got into a tense exchange at a Senate hearing this week.

Updated: July 21, 2021 - 11:34am

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he's sending a criminal referral to the Justice Department on Dr. Anthony Fauci for what the GOP senator says are the public health expert's lies while being questioned by Congress.

"I will be sending a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress," Paul told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday night. 

Paul's announcement comes after a tense exchange between him and Fauci at a Senate hearing earlier in the day, during which the senator suggested that Fauci and the National Institutes of Health had funded potentially dangerous gain-of-function coronavirus research in Wuhan, China, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While being aggressively questioned by Paul, Fauci denied having lied before Congress. 

“I have not lied before Congress," said Fauci, a top Biden administration medical adviser. "I have never lied. Certainly not before Congress. Case closed."