Under President Biden’s leadership, American institutions are being use as his personal police. The Rule of Law is being thrown right out the window.
And now Biden’s DOJ was just sued for committing this despicable crime.
A Catholic lobbying group has filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department and FBI for allegedly failing to cooperate with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request over a document from an FBI field office that branded Catholics as “violent extremists.”
On Thursday, CatholicVote and Judicial Watch filed a complaint alleging that the groups had exhausted all avenues for resolving their FOIA requests with the agencies, and that the DOJ and FBI had stopped communicating with the nonprofits since April 6.
The claim was filed in response to the release of an internal memo issued by the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia, field office on January 23, 2023. According to the report, ‘radical-traditionalist Catholic[s]’ are potential “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”
The groups were requesting text and email conversations between DOJ and FBI personnel that included terms like “Catholics,” “Latin Mass,” “Radical-Traditionalist Catholics,” “Pope Francis,” and “Rosary,” among others, according to the complaint.
On March 8, the first FOIA inquiries were made. According to the complaint, the FBI informed the groups on March 14 that “unusual circumstances” precluded the agency from meeting the 20-day period for responding to a FOIA request.
Despite the fact that FOIA standards require agencies to respond within 20 business days, with an additional 10 for “unusual circumstances,” the groups claim that the FBI and DOJ have yet to produce the requested records or even communicate whether they intend to comply with the request.
“Our weaponized and corrupt government agencies have demonstrated a pattern of contempt for justice and the rule of law by prioritizing partisan ideology and agendas over the protection of the American people – in particular those with whom they disagree politically,” CatholicVote President Brian Burch said in a statement.
“We are demanding transparency from our government and are determined to uncover just how high up the anti-Catholic bigotry goes.”
In recent congressional testimony about the leaked memo, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that the agency “took steps immediately to withdraw it and remove it from FBI systems.”
“It does not reflect FBI standards,” Wray added. “We do not conduct investigations based on religious affiliation or practices, full stop. We have also now ordered our inspection division to take a look at how this happened and try to figure out how we can make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that the document was “appalling.”
However, a subpoena issued last month by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, confirmed that the FBI attempted to cultivate “sources” to combat domestic terrorism by utilizing local religious organizations as “new avenues for tripwire and source development.”
According to Jordan, the FBI used “at least one undercover agent to produce its analysis, and the FBI 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.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., then sent Garland a letter accusing him of lying to the Senate last month when he said his department is not developing sources inside Catholic churches and other houses of worship, and Hawley demanded to know how many “undercover informants or other agents” are assisting the department from these religious sites.
“Let’s be clear: your Department has decided to turn Catholic congregations into front organizations for the FBI, and when asked about it, you’ve decided to fudge the truth before Congress,” Hawley wrote in a letter to Garland on April 11.
“This is an unconscionable assault on American Catholics’ First Amendment rights and an abdication of your duty to enforce the law without fear or favor,” he said.
In the opinion of Burch of CatholicVote, his concern about the memo extends beyond the Catholic Church.
“This is again a precedent,” Burch said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
“Where unless citizens push back against our government, we’re allowing this escalation of government power to cross boundaries that are sacrosanct, including the privacy of a church, where millions of Americans go every Sunday to worship and to seek fellowship with co-believers.”
“And the prospect of our own federal government spying or sending our undercover agents into these places of worship is a much bigger concern, is a much bigger issue than just for Catholics,” he said.
Stay tuned to Prudent Politics.