Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz grilled the Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, Kenneth Polite, over the handling of pro-abortion attacks during a Wednesday Senate hearing.
Cruz expressed concerns that the DOJ is “politicizing the enforcement of justice” following their handling of the vandalisms and fire bombings on pro-life crisis pregnancy centers across the country. He said there have been at least 82 attacks against pro-life institutions as of July 27, where they have been covered in red paint, graffiti and egged by “pro-abortion radicals.”
Despite these attacks, the DOJ established a “Reproductive Rights Task Force” on July 12, Cruz said.
“I have zero doubt that if pro-life supporters were vandalizing and firebombing abortion clinics across the country, DOJ would declare it a national emergency, and you might as well send out the National Guard,” Cruz said. “But because your politics and the politics of the agency you work with happen to agree with the vandals, there has been no task force, there has been no priority. Why is that?”
“Senator, respectfully, I believe we agree that politics cannot and should not play any role in the investigative or prosecutorial decisions of the Department of Justice,” Polite said. “We take very seriously any incidents of violence that occur within this country. I can tell you that those incidents that you’re reflecting upon, if they are ultimately being considered by the Department of Justice, they will be taken—”
“Hold on a second, if they’re being considered? You don’t know sitting here today if they’re being considered?” the senator interjected.
“Senator, a number of these incidents are priorities not only of the criminal division, but of the civil division, as well as our civil rights division,” Polite responded.
Cruz then asked if any cases have been brought to the DOJ regarding these attacks, to which Polite declined to comment.
After Politico obtained a leaked draft majority opinion slated to overturn Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion activists targeted pregnancy centers by spray painting phrases such as, “If Abortion Isn’t Safe, You Aren’t Either,” shattering its windows and even firebombing the buildings. The Capitol Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center in Washington, D.C., was covered in red paint with the words “Jane Says Revenge.”
Police arrested 10 pro-abortion protesters for allegedly throwing smoke bombs at an Oregon pregnancy center June 27. The activist group Jane’s Revenge allegedly firebombed a crisis pregnancy center in Amherst, New York, overnight on June 7, while arsonists attacked Wisconsin Family Action in Madison. The Oregon Right to Life offices in Keizer, Oregon, were also firebombed with Molotov cocktails.
The senator went on to press Polite on the protests in front of the homes of the six conservative Supreme Court justices, and called these demonstrations “inherently threatening.” He also pinned the rhetoric of a handful of Democratic members of Congress for the June 8 assassination attempt of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Cruz also questioned why the DOJ had not upheld 18 U.S.C § 1507, which prohibits private citizens from attempting to influence a court decision by organizing “pickets or parades near or in a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such a judge, juror, witness or court officer.”
“Night, after night, after night, these protesters committed federal crimes on national television. Why has the Department of Justice refused to enforce 18 U.S.C. § 1507?”
“Senator, very recently, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland, in fact, has prosecuted a defendant for unlawful conduct in front of the home of one of our Supreme Court justices.”
“So one person?” Cruz asked.
“To date, there has been one prosecution,” he said.
Cruz accused the DOJ of following the “partisan pattern” of President Joe Biden’s administration by prosecuting a single protester at the justices’ homes. Polite said he does not believe the prosecution was related to any violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1507, but rather their conduct.
“Well, I think you need to follow the law,” Cruz concluded.