Remember back in February of this year when the Federal Bureau of Investigation was found to be targeting traditional Catholics as “extremists?” At the time the FBI leadership claimed it was the work of one field office – the FBI Richmond Field Office.
However, documents subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee reveal that the FBI Richmond Field Office coordinated with MULTIPLE field offices across the country to produce a memo targeting traditional Catholics as domestic terrorists.
Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray previously said the actions were limited to “a single field office.”
Wray and Garland lied (of course).
As Kimberly Strassel explained in a column for The Wall Street Journal, this story began in February when a whistleblower leaked a heavily redacted January report from the FBI’s Richmond office: “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”
The document defined “radical-traditionalist Catholics” as those who attend the Latin Mass and who frequently adhere to “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology.” The agents relied on half-baked “open-source” reporting from liberal outlets to justify more bureau investigation.
FBI headquarters quickly said the report didn’t meet its “exacting standards” and had been withdrawn. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Judiciary Committee in July that the report was “a single product by a single field office.” He added that “as soon as I found out about it, I was aghast and ordered it withdrawn and removed from FBI systems,” and he said he began an internal probe.
The results of the “internal probe” have never been announced, so we doubt there ever was one.
The documents the FBI finally provided the committee show that its information on Catholics was “primarily derived” from an “FBI Richmond contact”; an “FBI Portland liaison contact” who informed on a subject who “gravitated to” traditionalist Catholicism; and an “FBI Undercover Employee” who reported on a subject who attended a Catholic church in California.
According to Ms. Strassel’s reporting, House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan has asked Wray to amend his July testimony “to fully explain the nature and scope of the FBI’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.” According to Ms. Strassel, Chairman Jordan intends to interview the special agent in charge of the Richmond field office, and he repeated a previous request to interview the chief division counsel who approved the Richmond field report.
It appears that Chairman Jordan is not satisfied, or done, with the investigation so far. According to his latest letter to FBI Director Wray, Jordan has four further lines of inquiry:
1. All documents and communications between the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and the FBI’s Portland Field Office referring or relating to the reporting cited in the January 23, 2023, Domain Prospective, entitled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities”;
2. All documents and communications between the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office referring or relating to the reporting cited in the January 23, 2023, Domain Prospective, entitled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities”;
3. A list of FBI intelligence products that have also cited the reporting done by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, as well as any other investigations initiated based on the same; and
4. Confirm the placement and access of the FBI’s Portland Field Office liaison contact with indirect access and the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office Undercover Employee with direct access.
Conservatives expressed their outrage that the FBI had targeted traditionalist Catholics, “The leaked FBI memo targeting traditional Catholics was offensive enough, but that this document was widely circulated among FBI field offices is even more disturbing and conflicts with earlier statements made by the FBI,” said J. Marc Wheat, AAF General Counsel. “All Americans are guaranteed free exercise of religion and the right to peaceably assemble without being targeted by the FBI or being labeled as extremists…”.
For our part, in addition to the four items cited in his letter to Wray, we would like Chairman Jordan to add a fifth axis to his investigation: An explanation of what exactly is meant by “New Mitigation Opportunities,” because to us that sounds an awful lot like the FBI planned or plans to infiltrate and disrupt traditional Catholic organizations and religious activities in clear violation of the First Amendment.
The Capitol Switchboard is (202-224-3121), call today and tell House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan that you support his investigation of the FBI’s assault on traditional Catholics and that you want an explanation of what is meant by “New Mitigation Opportunities,” related to traditional Catholics.
Deep State spying
Bishop Barry Knestout
Director Christopher Wray
Deputy Director Paul Abbate
CatholicVote President Brian Burch
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton