Fox News reported that at least 16 Senate Republicans demanded the FBI provide the chamber with a “coherent and complete response” regarding a memo targeting Catholics.
The FBI insisted only the Richmond field office had anything to do with the memo claiming a connection between “traditional Catholics” and domestic terrorism.
Because you know us Catholics who love the Latin Mass, wear veils to Mass, modest dress, etc., are horrible people. (No, I’m not in an offshoot. I just love some of the traditions pre-Vatican II)
The GOP wants FBI Director Christopher Wray’s response to include information about why the “FBI permanently deleted critical records related to the memo.”
The senators reminded the FBI that the agency used an internal review as an excuse not to hand over records about the memo.
The investigation had a “very narrow internal review, limited only to certain aspects of this single internal analyst report.”
It should not have taken long, but the FBI ignored requests from Republicans on the Budget and Judiciary Committee.
“The Ranking Members asked for copies of the correspondence between the intelligence analysts who drafted the Richmond memo and anyone of higher rank related to the report, an unredacted copy of the Domain Perspective memo, and a copy of all reports issued within FBI or DOJ within the past five years alleging a link between any primarily-religious or conservative association or entity and violent extremism,” stressed the senators.
It’s pretty suspicious that everything has disappeared, and the FBI remains quiet.
Gee, could it be because the memo didn’t belong only to a rogue field office? How many Catholics around the country did the FBI target?
Now we know that information related to the Richmond memo wasn’t provided to Congress because the FBI deleted the records as soon as the incident became public. According to a report released by the House Judiciary Committee on December 4, Deputy Director Paul Abbate ordered Richmond Special Agent in Charge Stanley Meador to “take [the memo] down” as soon as it became public. According to Agent Meador, there was then a “follow-up call” from Tanya Ugoretz, the FBI’s Assistant Director of the Directorate of Intelligence, which ordered Agent Meador to notify the Deputy Director and Ms. Ugoretz, “‘when [he] had taken the necessary steps’ to remove the memorandum, and anything referring to the document, from FBI systems.” FBI must provide an immediate explanation for its order to delete records related to this incident, which not only obstructs congressional oversight, but also means the FBI’s internal review itself did not have access to documents that may have provided critical information on the incident. The FBI must also explain why it withheld this information from the Senate, despite repeated requests for records.
We also know the Richmond office worked with other field offices.
“It seems the only thing that prevented this memo from being published Bureau wide was the public backlash against the internal Richmond memo,” wrote the senators. “So not only wasn’t the memo the work of a single field office, but there also wasn’t ‘a single product,’ as you testified under oath.”
This is a huge deal. Even if the memo really only belonged to the Richmond office (work with me here) it’s still a big deal. You’re treading close to violating a person’s First Amendment.
No legitimate reason to target any Catholic.
The senators told Wray that cooperation is one way to restore faith in the agency and fix its culture problem. I mean, the FBI and DOJ have a history of targeting ordinary people like parents who demand a say in their child’s education and those who participated in the Capitol Hill riot.
It doesn’t help that the FBI cited leftist outlets and organizations as justification to go after Catholics:
This broader crisis of FBI leadership is part of an ongoing pattern of weaponization of federal law enforcement against ordinary citizens that we have warned you about at length, and which the FBI must address. In March, Senator Grassley and Senator Graham expressed concern that, “[a]lthough the FBI withdrew this report quickly after public scrutiny was focused upon . . . its drafting, approval, and release proves yet again the crisis brewing within the FBI and its leadership, which time and again has failed to rein in such blatant bias.” Likewise, Senator Lankford and Senator Grassley on October 11 wrote you questioning the FBI’s use of the deeply-biased and thoroughly-discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a source in intelligence products. Even though the FBI’s October 27 letter purported to respond to that letter, it failed to do so. Accordingly, we once again request further information regarding the FBI’s dependence upon the SPLC.
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