FBI. Photo: Telenoticias

Congress vs. FBI: Alleged Spying on American Catholics

The confrontation between the Judiciary Committee and the FBI has taken a defiant turn due to the unmet subpoenas and demands for transparency regarding the alleged spying on American Catholics

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Tim Daniels

(ZENIT News / Washington, 07.21.2023).-  House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jim Jordan, has issued a strong warning to FBI Director, Christopher Wray, in an increasingly tense standoff. The Committee is demanding that the FBI comply with congressional subpoenas related to evidence suggesting possible spying on American Catholics.

It all began in the second week of July during a hearing when Jordan heavily questioned Wray about a leaked memo originating from the FBI’s Richmond division. The document revealed plans to investigate Catholic communities under the label of “radical-traditionalists,” purportedly due to concerns about violent extremism among Catholics.

Tensions escalated as Jordan, on behalf of the Judiciary Committee, demanded that the FBI disclose the names of agents involved in creating the controversial memo. Additionally, the Committee also requested an unredacted version of the document, a demand that the FBI has thus far refused to meet.

FBI Director Christopher Wray argued that the agency is conducting an internal review of the memo in question. He assured that the FBI would be willing to cooperate with the Committee as part of the congressional investigation. However, for Jordan and other Committee members, the FBI’s response has been inadequate and has hindered their oversight efforts.

The tension reached its peak when Jordan sent a letter to Wray this week, warning him that if the FBI does not comply with the Committee’s numerous requests by July 25th, they will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings against him. Jordan emphasized that the subpoenas issued by the Committee are legally binding and demand compliance.

The issue has generated criticism towards the FBI, particularly from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. American bishops have condemned the secretive program, accusing it of “religious profiling.” Furthermore, 20 state attorneys general have urged the FBI to publicly release all materials related to the memo and its creation.

The controversy has also involved the FBI’s investigations into alleged “school board-related threats.” Jordan has accused the FBI of not properly responding to the Committee’s requests for documents related to the “monitoring of concerned parents who speak out at school board meetings.”

In conclusion, the confrontation between the Judiciary Committee and the FBI has taken a defiant turn due to the unmet subpoenas and demands for transparency regarding the alleged spying on American Catholics. The situation has led to criticism and calls for accountability towards the federal agency.

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ZENIT Staff

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