Garland Can't Answer Easy Question About Religious Exemptions, Leading Massie to Suspect 'Fraud' Is Occurring

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Posted: Oct 22, 2021 7:00 AM
Garland Can't Answer Easy Question About Religious Exemptions, Leading Massie to Suspect 'Fraud' Is Occurring

Source: AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

Rep. Thomas Massie confronted Attorney General Merrick Garland during Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing about the status of religious exemptions at the Department of Justice, ultimately concluding it sounds like “fraud” is taking place.

“Is it true that employees of the DOJ can apply for a religious exemption [to the Covid-19 vaccine]”? he asked.

“The mandate as I understand it is a mandate that allows exceptions provided by law,” Garland responded.

“So the religious exemption has a basis in the Constitution so that’s required to be constitutional,” the Kentucky Republican pointed out. “Can you tell me if anybody’s been granted a religious exemption.”

“I don’t know,” Garland replied.

“I believe that it’s fraud—fraud to tell people you’ll preserve their constitutional religious accommodations by telling them they can apply for exemption and then not allowing any of those exemptions,” Massie shot back. “I’m sad to see you can’t tell us that anybody’s been granted an exemption.”

This is not the first time Massie has expressed his concern about religious exemptions not being granted, whether in the government or private sector. 

"You’re complicit in fraud if you’re telling employees/members of a private company, a government agency, or the military that they can fill out religious and medical exemption requests, if you’re also categorically refusing all of those requests," he said on Twitter this week. "I suspect there’s a lot of fraud."

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