FBI targets serious Catholics. NYPost—Multiple FBI field offices were involved in drafting a controversial January 2023 internal memo suggesting traditionalist Catholic groups were potential hotbeds of domestic extremism, two Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee alleged Wednesday.
A less redacted version of the memo obtained by the panel last month cited a “liaison contact” at the Portland Field Office as well as information from the from the Los Angeles Field Office, the lawmakers claimed in a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La.) penned the letter, which asked Wray “why you redacted this information in previous versions of the document you produced to the Committee.”
“[T]he newly produced version of the document explicitly states that FBI Richmond ‘[c]oordinated with’ FBI Portland in preparing the assessment,” they wrote. “Thus, it appears that both FBI Portland and FBI Los Angeles field offices were involved in or contributed to the creation of FBI’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.”
Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee in March that the memo, which originated with the bureau’s Richmond, Va., field office, had left him aghast and that “we took steps immediately to withdraw it and remove it from FBI systems.”
“I will note,” Wray added at the time, “it was a product by one field office, which, of course we have scores and scores of these products. And when we found out about it, we took action.”
The memo was titled, “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”
“FBI Richmond assesses the increasingly observed interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) in radical-traditionalist Catholic (RTC) ideology almost certainly presents opportunities for threat mitigation through the exploration of new avenues for tripwire and source development,” the memo said, describing purported overlap between Catholics who oppose abortion rights and other policies and would-be terrorists.
Jordan sparred with Wray over the matter during a testy House Judiciary hearing…. read more>