Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan subpoenaed the FBI over its alleged targeting of traditional Catholics in a letter sent Tuesday.
The FBI Richmond Field Office put forward a document dated January 23, 2023 which advised agents to infiltrate groups of traditional Catholics who attend the Latin Mass and reject the Second Vatican Council. The document cited left-wing groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in arguing that the groups are “facilitation platforms to promote violence.” The FBI field office later told the Daily Caller it was retracting the memo, saying it “does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI.” (RELATED: LGBTQ Group Study Finds That Kids Who ‘Come Out’ Younger Are At Greater Suicide Risk)
“Based on the limited information produced by the FBI to the Committee, we now know that the FBI relied on at least one undercover agent to produce its analysis, and that the FBI proposed that its agents engage in outreach to Catholic parishes to develop sources among the clergy and church leadership to inform on Americans practicing their faith,” the Ohio representative writes in the letter. “This shocking information reinforces our need for all responsive documents, and the Committee is issuing a subpoena to you to compel your full cooperation.”
In one section of the document, the FBI field office identifies an opportunity to “sensitize the congregation to the warning signs of radicalization and enlist their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.”
We now know the FBI, relying on information derived from at least one undercover employee, sought to use local religious organizations as “new avenues for tripwire and source development.”
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 10, 2023
“This information is outrageous and only reinforces the Committee’s need for all FBI material responsive to our request. The documents produced to date show how the FBI sought to enlist Catholic houses of worship as potential sources to monitor and report on their parishioners,” the letter continues.
The FBI has come under fire recently for what some claim is a politically motivated targeting of Christians and conservatives. In one case, a Catholic pro-life father was raided by the FBI for allegedly violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a charge of which he was acquitted in January.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has maintained that the agency is nonpartisan in its enforcement of the law, saying in an interview with Fox News in February that they “follow the facts wherever they lead no matter who likes it.”