CV NEWS FEED // According to a group of 16 Republican senators, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) deleted records pertaining to its infamous anti-Catholic memo after former agent and whistleblower Kyle Seraphin leaked it to the press a year ago.
“Now we know that information related to the Richmond memo wasn’t provided to Congress because the FBI deleted the records as soon as the incident became public,” the senators wrote in a Wednesday letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“According to a report released by the House Judiciary Committee on December 4, Deputy Director Paul Abbate ordered Richmond Special Agent in Charge Stanley Meador to ‘take [the memo] down’ as soon as it became public,” they detailed:
According to Agent Meador, there was then a ‘follow-up call’ from Tanya Ugoretz, the FBI’s Assistant Director of the Directorate of Intelligence, which ordered Agent Meador to notify the Deputy Director and Ms. Ugoretz, ‘when [he] had taken the necessary steps to remove the memorandum, and anything referring to the document, from FBI systems.’
The lawmakers urged the FBI to “provide an immediate explanation for its order to delete records related to this incident.”
They added that the action “not only obstructs congressional oversight, but also means the FBI’s internal review itself did not have access to documents that may have provided critical information on the incident.”
“The FBI must also explain why it withheld this information from the Senate, despite repeated requests for records,” the senators went on:
And we again call upon you to provide a full explanation of your testimony that the Richmond memo was “a single product by a single field office.” Based upon now-available information, both of those claims were misleading and withheld material information from Congress.
The letter’s lead signatories were Budget Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-IA, and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham, R-SC.
They were joined by Sens. James Lankford, R-OK, Jim Risch, R-ID, John Hoeven, R-ND, Mike Lee, R-UT, Ted Cruz, R-TX, Deb Fischer, R-NE, Todd Young, R-IN, Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, Kevin Cramer, R-ND, Mike Braun, R-IN, Josh Hawley, R-MO, Rick Scott, R-FL, Roger Marshall, R-KS, and Eric Schmitt, R-MO.
Seraphin noted that the deletion of the critical information was characteristic of a deeply rooted problem in the way the Federal government operates. “This action and this instinct by the FBI is a perfect microcosm of why you cannot allow your ‘premier’ law enforcement agency to also be an ‘intelligence agency,’” he said.
“The instinct to lie, hide, obscure, and violate the Bill of Rights is natural if you feel like intelligence is the goal,” the whistleblower and CatholicVote 2023 Hero of the Year continued:
A law enforcement agency needs to worry about due process, chain of custody, probable cause, and presumed innocence. An intelligence agency that can arrest you has been called a ‘secret police’ through modern history.
CatholicVote Director of Government Affairs Tom McClusky said Sunday that “this is not the first time officials at the FBI have been caught in a lie about targeting Catholics. It is now time for accountability and repercussions.”
“This administration, led by a self-described Catholic, has made it clear that if you truly believe in Catholic teachings, you will be targeted,” McClusky added.