Garland Goes Mute About FBI Catholic Probe – OpEd


We learned in January that “traditional” Catholics were being investigated by the FBI for the crime of being traditional Catholics. We were assured by FBI Director Christopher Wray that only one Field Office, in Richmond, was involved. Then we learned that the FBI was also going after “mainline” Catholics, and had developed a plan to spy on them. Then we learned that it wasn’t just one Field Office—agents in Los Angeles and Portland were also involved in the probe.

Wray has repeatedly said he knew nothing about Catholics being targeted. In fact, when he testified in July he said that when he first learned about this he was “aghast.” Merrick Garland, the Attorney General, testified on September 20 saying that he, too, knew nothing about this. When he found out, he told Rep. Jeff Van Drew that he was “appalled.” Garland said the same thing when he testified last winter.

Let’s assume they are telling the truth—neither man knew anything about those in their employ involved in raping the constitutional rights of ordinary Americans. (Garland, by the way, previously said he knew nothing about the firebombing of Catholic churches by Jane’s Revenge in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.) Let’s also assume they were “aghast” and “appalled” about what happened.

What exactly have they done about it?

There has been no public record, nor statement of any kind, issued by either Wray or Garland regarding steps taken to hold those accountable for this egregious violation of the First Amendment rights of practicing Catholics. Have disciplinary measures of any kind been invoked? Has there been an internal investigation of the FBI seeking to learn if other agents have also been spying on Catholics?

Let’s recall that Catholics were being targeted by the FBI if they were disdainful of Pope Francis, liked the Latin Mass, or if they criticized pro-abortion activists on Twitter (now X).

No field agent decided to just dream this caper up because he had nothing else to do. No doubt many agents knew. We need to get to the bottom of this and find out who was involved, what triggered this egregious abuse of power—was it someone in the FBI who concocted this scheme, or was it someone from the outside who crafted it? We also need to know exactly what was going to be done with the information once the probe was completed.

To this end, I am writing to Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and to Committee member Rep. Van Drew, asking for their cooperation in finding the answers to these questions.

Contact Russell Dye, communications director for Rep. Jordan: [email protected]

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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