Campaign for Accountability Asks for Criminal Investigation into Whether Former ORR Director Scott Lloyd Made False Statements to Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 20, 2019

Contact: Bryan Dewan, bdewan@campaignforaccountability.org, 202.780.5750

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (“CfA”), a public interest watchdog organization, asked the House Judiciary Committee to refer Scott Lloyd, previously the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (“ORR”) within the Department of Health and Human Services, to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for investigation into whether he deliberately lied to Congress.  Because his tenure was so controversial, Lloyd stepped down from that position to serve Senior Advisor to the HHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives.

Read the complaint here.

CfA Counsel Alice Huling stated, “Scott Lloyd, who is not only vehemently anti-abortion, but also anti-contraception, relied on his religious ideology rather than the law when making decisions regarding the unaccompanied pregnant minors in ORR’s care.  Now, it appears he disregarded the law once again by failing to respond truthfully to questions about his actions.  Lying to Congress is a serious crime.”

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Penn.), asked Lloyd whether ORR tracked the menstrual cycles of any of the girls in the office’s care.  Lloyd specifically denied doing so.  Yet in deposition testimony in a lawsuit against DHS regarding the treatment of pregnant unaccompanied minors filed by the ACLU, Lloyd admitted to receiving a “spreadsheet” with information, including “estimated gestational age.”  And, on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, Ms. Maddow shared that spreadsheet, reading aloud a column heading enlarged for viewers that read “Last mentsral (sic) cycle 3/2.”

In addition, Rep. Dean asked Lloyd if he had “personally visited pregnant minors to pressure them to continue their pregnancies”?  Lloyd again denied it. Yet a March 14, 2017 email shows that Lloyd did visit a pregnant unaccompanied minor and because “these girls start to regret abortion,” said it was important to “connect her with resources for psychological and/or religious counseling.”  And, in an April 4, 2017 email, Lloyd said ORR would be bringing a pregnant girl to a CPC [Crisis Pregnancy Center] site.”

It is a federal crime to make a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in response to any investigation or hearing conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee of Congress. Based on the conflicts between Lloyd’s responses to Rep. Dean during his congressional testimony and his deposition testimony, the spreadsheet obtained by Rachel Maddow, and Lloyd’s own emails, Lloyd appears to have provided false testimony to Congress.

Ms. Huling continued: “Zealous anti-abortion, religious ideology does not excuse government officials from testifying truthfully before Congress. The Judiciary Committee should immediately refer this matter to DOJ for investigation.”

Campaign for Accountability is a nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.