Fox News has learned that last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation first requested the unredacted documents from the committee. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - "is a rare confirmation of a federal investigation".
"The Department of Justice appreciates the offer of assistance in obtaining these materials, and would like to request the Committee provide unredacted copies of records contained in the report, in order to further the Department's ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available", Boyd wrote. "We understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the Department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury".
The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter on Thursday, seen by Reuters, seeking documents related to a Senate committee's report on the transfer of fetal tissue by abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
A representative for Planned Parenthood declined to comment.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's 2016 report claimed that executive branch agencies had failed to monitor the industry and - after reviewing 20,000 documents voluntarily submitted by Planned Parenthood and a number of other organizations - called on the Justice Department to investigate. Republicans on the Judiciary Committee released a report in 2016 about Planned Parenthood's contracts with biomedical research corporations, and questioned if the corporations "profited from their disbursement of fetal tissue". "When PPFA learned in 2011 of this situation, PPFA cancelled the policy rather than exercise oversight to bring the affiliates back into compliance".
Abby Johnson, former PP manager and current head of And Then There Were None is applauding the investigation.
"Planned Parenthood has actively participated in illegal activity, selling the body parts of aborted babies in exchange for profit", she said in a statement sent to Breitbart News. "They've lied to the very women they purport to fight for".
California authorities criminally charged two anti-abortion activists this year, accusing them of filming Planned Parenthood workers without their consent when they made the videos for the Center for Medical Progress.
"It is beyond comprehension that the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood continues, especially as the abortion giant has been investigated by both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Panel on Infant Lives and evidence from the probes suggests criminal actions".