CV NEWS FEED // The FBI director “may have lied under oath” about the Bureau’s infamous January memo against so-called “radical traditional” Catholics. New evidence shows the contents of the memo did not originate solely with the Richmond, VA field office, but were part of an effort that spanned the FBI offices of Portland and Los Angeles.
As reported by The Daily Signal, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, and Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government Chairman Rep. Mike Johnson, R-LA, sent a letter Wednesday addressed to FBI Director Chris Wray.
Jordan also chairs the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
Jordan and Johnson wrote that the Judiciary Committee “is continuing to conduct oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.”
From information recently produced to the Committee, we now know that the FBI relied on information from around the country—including a liaison contact in the FBI’s Portland Field Office and reporting from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office—to develop its assessment.
This new information suggests that the FBI’s use of its law enforcement capabilities to intrude on American’s First Amendment rights is more widespread than initially suspected and reveals inconsistencies with your previous testimony before the Committee. Given this startling new information, we write to request additional information to advance our oversight.
The “new information” to which the congressmen referred contradicted Wray’s July 12 under-oath testimony in front of their committee. Then, Wray claimed that the memo was “a single product by a single field office,” and as soon as he heard of it, he “was aghast and ordered it withdrawn and removed from FBI systems.”
However, as Jordan and Johnson wrote in their letter to Wray:
On July 25, 2023, the FBI produced a version of the Richmond document with fewer redactions than the two previous versions it had produced. This new version shows that the FBI’s actions were not just limited to “a single field office,” as you testified to the Committee.
Thus, it appears that both FBI Portland and FBI Los Angeles field offices were involved in or contributed to the creation of [the] FBI’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.
Jordan and Johnson asked Wray to provide the committee with several documents and communications from the FBI’s Richmond, Portland, and Los Angeles Field Offices “to inform our ongoing oversight of the FBI and to ensure the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion is protected from government overreach.”
“Please provide this information as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 23, 2023,” the lawmakers wrote\ at the end of the letter.
“First, they went after moms and dads at school board meetings,” Jordan said in an interview with the Signal. “Now, they’re going after traditional Catholics. When’s it going to stop?”
Wray has served as the FBI Director since 2017, having been initially appointed by former President Donald Trump and retained by President Joe Biden.
CatholicVote Director of Governmental Affairs Tom McClusky said the new information dealt a serious blow to the credibility of federal law enforcement officials.
“This memo, exposing the lies of FBI Director Wray and his cohorts in the Biden administration, further tarnishes a once-respected organization,” McClusky said. “The FBI is supposed to target criminal activity, but Christopher Wray and Merrick Garland have given it the reputation of a Democratic goon squad.”
CatholicVote President Brian Burch added, “The FBI has finally acknowledged what we have long suspected, namely that FBI efforts to spy on Catholic churches went far beyond a single field office and a so-called rogue agent.”
These admissions raise even more concerns related to the weaponization of the Department of Justice for political purposes. We can’t help but also wonder if this is why the FBI has done everything possible to withhold information requested by our Freedom of Information Act request, now lawsuit.
The new information directly contradicts testimony provided by both Director Wray and the Attorney General. These admissions raise even more questions now about the intent, purpose, and scope of this illegal effort to surveil Catholics inside churches across America.
The CatholicVote President concluded, saying, “We must hear directly from the agents and supervisors involved in this memo. Further, Catholics deserve answers as to why the Director of the FBI was not honest with the committee during his previous testimony.”
This illegal and unconstitutional scheme now includes the appearance of obstruction of Congress. We urge the committee to do whatever is necessary to bring to light the truth behind this abuse of governmental power and to hold all those responsible accountable.