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Senator Josh Hawley Challenges FBI Director Wray Over FBI Targeting of Catholics

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In a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on December 5, Senator Josh Hawley confronted FBI Director Christopher Wray regarding the agency's investigation into Catholics. The exchange followed the release of a House Judiciary Committee's report detailing a monthslong investigation into a leaked internal FBI memo that discussed potential domestic "terrorism links" among Catholics. Needless to say, the memo was absurd, and betrays prejudice. 

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Photo credit: Ricardo Arce

Photo credit: Ricardo Arce

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
12/6/2023 (2 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Senator Josh Hawley, FBI Director Christopher Wray, House Judiciary Committee, FBI memo, Traditional Catholics, Investigation, Religious Freedom

Hawley raised concerns about FBI agents approaching a priest and a choir director to gather information on parishioners, a revelation that contradicts previous FBI claims. The report delves into the FBI's efforts to investigate Catholics and the now-retracted memo linking them to the far-right white nationalist movement.

While Wray argued that the memo was rescinded and employees admonished, Hawley insisted that the FBI had targeted Catholics based on their religious expression. The report found that the memo circulated beyond the Richmond Field Office, contradicting FBI officials' assertions.

Despite FBI claims of isolating the issue to one field office, the report revealed plans for an external, FBI-wide product based on the Richmond memorandum. Discussions about a broader document are ongoing, according to Special Agent in Charge Stanley Meador.

The investigation also highlighted a whistleblower's disclosure about FBI agents interviewing clergy affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X, confirming direct communication with Catholic clergy about parishioners practicing their faith. The FBI disputed this, stating that the interviews were related to an individual threatening violence.

While the FBI maintained no malicious intent to target Catholics, the obvious lies and malice call this into question. The report criticized the bureau for resisting transparency and failing to issue a public apology or take action against involved employees. The committee called for decisive action to rebuild public trust in the wake of this controversy.

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