“We are demanding transparency from our government and are determined to uncover just how high up the anti-Catholic bigotry goes.”
~Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote~
Madison, WI – Today CatholicVote, joined by Judicial Watch, announced it has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Department of Justice. The federal agencies have failed to provide the records requested under FOIA which relate to the Bureau’s targeting of Catholics.
In February, a leaked memo from the FBI Richmond Field Office exposed the Bureau for targeting Catholics. The memo, which relied on ideologically driven criteria from the discredited and far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, was denounced by CatholicVote as another shocking example of the dangerous weaponization of government agencies against political opponents.
A subpoena issued by Congressman Jim Jordan has already confirmed that the FBI attempted to cultivate ‘sources’ and use local religious organizations as “new avenues for tripwire and source development.” It also confirms that the leaked memo, originally disavowed under oath by Attorney General Garland as an isolated incident initiated by a low-level rogue agent, was actually approved by senior intelligence analysts and distributed to field offices across the country.
This spying on Catholics comes after hundreds of violent attacks have been carried out against pro-life organizations and Catholic churches throughout the country; attacks that have been virtually ignored by the FBI and DOJ. Meanwhile, the DOJ has exerted maximum effort to harass, intimidate and prosecute pro-life advocates to the fullest extent of the law.
On March 8th, 2023, CatholicVote sent FOIA requests to the FBI and DOJ seeking access to records pertaining to Catholics and other topics related to the leaked memo. Even though FOIA norms require agencies to respond within 20 business days, with an additional 10 for “unusual circumstances,” over a month has passed and to date the FBI and DOJ have failed to produce the requested records or even communicate whether they plan to comply with the requests.
CatholicVote President Brian Burch said in a statement: “Our weaponized and corrupt government agencies have demonstrated a pattern of contempt for justice and the rule of law by prioritizing partisan ideology and agendas over the protection of the American people – in particular those with whom they disagree politically. We are demanding transparency from our government and are determined to uncover just how high up the anti-Catholic bigotry goes.”