An explosive revelation made by House Judiciary Committee Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan shows the FBI relied on an undercover employee to inform its leaked analysis on domestic extremism among Catholic Americans. This fact came to light following a subpoena the House Judiciary Committee issued to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting records related to its probe into the FBI’s “domestic violent extremism investigations against Catholic Americans.” The investigation was initiated after the leak of a Jan. 23 FBI memo that singled out Roman Catholic groups who prefer the Latin mass as being at risk of “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology.”
The feds spied on Catholics and still wonder why Americans don't trust them https://t.co/lGZJVUQsGz
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 10, 2023
The FBI provided only an 18-page, “substandard and partial response” on March 23, which revealed its reliance on the undercover agent when producing the Jan. 23 document. The FBI reportedly even proposed that its agents engage in outreach to Catholic parishes to “develop sources among the clergy and church leadership to inform on Americans practicing their faith.” This shocking detail needs further scrutiny by the public, as it is the duty of the FBI to protect, not to target, citizens.
Furthermore, the FBI’s call for the congregation to “serve as suspicious activity tripwires” is alarming and intrusive. It is an extremely heavy-handed approach that could lead to unwarranted government scrutiny, forcing people to feel like they are being watched at their place of worship.
It is high time that Americans realize that their religious freedom is under attack. The Jan. 23 FBI memo is a blatant violation of the First Amendment by casting aspersions on people of faith under the guise of “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology.” Attorney General Merrick Garland has already disavowed the memo targeting Catholics and told the Senate that “the FBI ‘does not do investigations based on religion’.” However, Jordan’s revelation about the undercover agent calls into question the validity of Garland’s statements and further emphasizes the need for scrutiny of our government agencies.
It is imperative that the FBI provides the House Judiciary Committee with all records regarding this investigation without any redactions, as they are a part of the constitutional and statutory responsibilities that the agency has towards the public. If they fail to do so, it is the responsibility of Congress to continue to probe deeper into this matter, as it is not an issue to be ignored. The government must heed the Constitution and respect Americans’ religious freedom, as it is the cornerstone of our nation.