The U.S. Justice Department declined to prosecute the Trump administration’s Commerce Department chief Wilbur Ross

The U.S. Justice Department declined to prosecute the Trump administration’s Commerce Department chief Wilbur Ross after an inspector general confirmed they provided false testimony regarding the origins of the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 census.

The Commerce IG launched its probe in 2019. Ross twice told Congress the addition of the citizenship question was based solely on a request from the Justice Department, but the IG found Ross “misrepresented the full rationale” behind the decision. Its findings have publicly disclosed the emails that clearly demonstrated the role Ross, the White House, and other Commerce officials played well before Justice became involved.

“Evidence shows there were significant communications related to the citizenship question among the then-Secretary, his staff, and other government officials between March 2017 and September 2017, which was well before the DOJ request memorandum. Evidence also suggests the department requested and played a part in drafting the DOJ memorandum.” the IG said.

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