By MICHAEL BECKER AND RACHEL J. BERNSTEIN, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) A key Trump administration adviser on immigration and the deportation of undocumented immigrants is under investigation by the Department of Justice for possible criminal wrongdoing.
Deputy Attorney General Peter Kadzik was fired from the department in June after a scathing report said he lied to the Judiciary Committee about how he helped draft the executive order on immigration that President Donald Trump signed in January.
Kadzik has denied the charges and said the Justice Department was looking into his conduct.
A spokesman for the Justice department said Wednesday that Kadzik’s position had been vacant since the White House dismissed then-Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke in January 2018.
Duke had been an advocate for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected young people brought to the United States illegally as children.
Katz, who has been Trump’s senior adviser on national security and immigration, was Trump’s first immigration policy adviser and was instrumental in drafting the executive orders on immigration.
Kapzik was also a senior advisor on border security and has been a critic of Trump’s policy of cracking down on illegal immigration.
The Justice Department said the FBI and Homeland Security are investigating Kadzik for possible civil rights violations.
He declined to comment.KADZIK’S REVIEW: His first-ever interview with the FBI, Kadzik told the committee last week that he had helped draft Trump’s immigration order.
He said that his focus was on protecting the interests of U.S. citizens, not illegal immigrants.
“I was focused on protecting those interests and not on the rights of illegal immigrants,” he said.KAPIK SAYS HE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FRAUD: Kadzik denied in his first interview with FBI agents that he lied in his written testimony.
He said he knew of the draft order but had not approved it and that he didn’t know the contents of the executive executive order.
“He was very clear in what he said in his testimony that he did not approve it,” Kadzik said in an interview Wednesday with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.
“I know he didn: He had not.
And I know he wasn’t aware of the existence of the order.
So what he’s saying, ‘I did not sign it,’ is just not true.”KADZEK’S TESTIMONY IN COURT: He told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January that he knew nothing about the executive immigration order when it was written.
He did not know about the contents, he said, and didn’t approve of the language that he put in the order when he wrote it.
“It was a draft order,” he told the Senate Judiciary committee.
“That’s all I know.
And that’s what I’m saying.
I didn’t sign it.”
He said that he also testified before the House Intelligence Committee that he wasn, in fact, a “consultant” on the draft executive order, and he told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an April interview that he was the only person who “could have written the executive” order.KADSZIK HAS BEEN INVESTIGATED FOR OTHER SCRUTINY: FBI and Justice Department officials say Kadzik has been investigating the case since his firing from the Justice and Homeland security departments.
They say the probe is still ongoing.
Kadszik also testified in court Wednesday that he “never knowingly conspired to commit a crime,” and he denied any wrongdoing.
“As far as the charges against me are concerned, I’ve never done anything wrong,” he testified.
“There’s no basis whatsoever for the allegations.”