The FBI reportedly “abused its counterterrorism tools” to go after Catholics and pro-lifers “as potential domestic terrorists,” according to a new report from the House Weaponization Subcommittee released Monday.
In February, the FBI retracted an internal memorandum from the Richmond field office, which described traditionalist Roman Catholics as “radical” and claimed they espoused “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ and white supremacist ideology,” after facing immense backlash. The House Weaponization subcommittee conducted an investigation into the memo’s origins and found that the agency had “singled out” Americans with Catholic and pro-life beliefs, according to the documents first reported by Fox Digital.
“The documents received pursuant to the Committee’s subpoena show that the FBI singled out Americans who are pro-life, pro-family, and support the biological basis for sex and gender distinction as potential domestic terrorists,” the report reads. “The memorandum recognized ‘the run-up to the next general election cycle’ as a key time frame and cited the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned Roe v. Wade as a flash point.”
The report noted that while the memo was still being developed the FBI had allegedly met with a bishop and a choir director sometime in November or December 2022 in Virginia and that the “FBI directly communicated with Catholic clergy and staff about parishioners practicing their faith.” The church was an SSPX-affiliate, which is the society of Saint Pius, which believes that there has not been a legitimate pope since Pius XII and does not have a canonical status in the Church, according to the Diocese of Richmond.
The subcommittee also alleges that if the memo had not been made public via a whistleblower, it would likely still be in effect,” violating the religious liberties of millions of Catholic Americans.”
Despite multiple requests from the committee, the FBI continues to have no estimate on how many other field offices had access to the memo and “cannot confirm whether any outreach occurred to Catholic parishes as a result of the memorandum,” according to the report. The FBI also did not have any “legitimate basis” for drafting the memo other than a “single investigation” by the Richmond Field Office into a “self-described” … “radical-traditionalist Catholic.”
The committee’s report repeatedly blasted the agency for withholding information and failing to provide documentation of the process by which the memo was conceived and distributed. The investigation found that even the FBI’s internal review of the situation found “errors at every step of the drafting, review, and approval of Richmond’s Catholic ‘intelligence product.’”
One of the authors of the memo also admitted that the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was cited in the document, was known for “political bias,” according to the report.
“Yet the analysts did not provide any caveats about the bias or credibility of the source in the memorandum,” the report reads, “Instead, they wrote in the memorandum that ‘FBI Richmond makes this assessment with high confidence.’ In other words, the analysts cited and relied on the SPLC, Salon, and The Atlantic knowing the sources were politically biased to support a false narrative.”
The FBI did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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