Fauci adviser's alleged destruction of COVID origin docs must be probed by AG: Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul is calling on the Justice Department to probe whether a top adviser to Dr. Anthony Fauci improperly concealed, and perhaps even destroyed, documents pertaining to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kentucky Republican is formally calling for an investigation into accusations of improper concealment and destruction of COVID-19 origin records by Dr. David Morens in a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday. 

The letter, citing emails obtained by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, presents “significant evidence” suggesting Morens may have violated federal law by hiding and erasing records related to the origins of COVID-19 to avoid leaks through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

“Moreover, newly revealed emails suggest a broader conspiracy within the NIH FOIA office to assist Dr. Morens in unlawfully destroying records and evading public records laws,” Paul wrote. 

For his part, Fauci has repeatedly publicly repudiated theories suggesting a lab leak as the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“These emails provide strong evidence that Dr. Morens violated federal law by concealing and destroying federal records. It is imperative that your Department investigate the allegations against Dr. Morens and, if substantiated, ensure that he is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” the letter continued.

Paul’s letter comes as emails recently released between Morens and the president of a non-governmental organization being funded to conduct coronavirus research in Wuhan, China, the EcoHealth Alliance, were investigated by House lawmakers last week.

NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak testified on Thursday that Morens allegedly deleted emails to thwart the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19. 

During the hearing, Tabak informed Republican House Oversight Chairman James Comer that Morens purportedly breached NIH policy by deleting emails after public records requests.

“Dr. David Morens, a senior advisor to Fauci for decades, wrote in an email to Dr. Daszak, ‘I learned from our FOIA lady here how to make emails disappear after I am FOIA’d, but before the search starts. So I think we are all safe. Plus I deleted most of those earlier emails after sending them to Gmail.’ Is that consistent with NIH document retention policies?” Comer asked Tabak, to which he responded that it is not.

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“He also later wrote Dr. Daszak, ‘We are all smart enough to know to never have smoking guns and if we did, we wouldn’t put them in emails. And if we found them, we would delete them,'” Comer said. “Finally, emails show that Dr. Morens would share internal questions about upcoming FOIA releases with Dr. Daszak. He would then help Dr. Daszak craft responses to documents being released in these FOIAs.”

In other emails, Morens expressed concern over what was sent to his work email and what was sent to his personal email, informing those on the email chain that they did not need to worry and that he would “delete anything I don’t want to see in the New York Times.”

“As you know, I try to always communicate on gmail because my NIH email is FOIA’d constantly,” Morens wrote in a September 2021 email, which was sent at the time to many scientists involved in the debate over the origins of COVID. “Stuff sent to my gmail gets to my phone … but not my NIH computer.”

“Don’t worry, just send to any of my addresses, and I will delete anything I don’t want to see in the New York Times,” he added in the email.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the NIH and Garland for comment. 

Fox News Digital’s Kyle Morris contributed to this report.

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