There are so many things wrong with this, I don't know where to start. Here is the press release from the House Judiciary Committee.
Documents Reveal FBI Sought to Develop Sources in Local Catholic Churches
April 10, 2023 Press Release
Chairman Jordan Subpoenas FBI for Related Documents
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) revealed that the FBI relied on information derived from at least one undercover employee and sought to use local religious organizations as “new avenues for tripwire and source development.” This proposed outreach plan included contacting so-called “mainline Catholic parishes” and the local “diocesan leadership.” The documents reveal that the FBI also expressed an interest in “leverag[ing] existing sources and/or initiat[ing] Type 5 Assessments to develop new sources with the placement and access” to report on suspicious activity. In light of this information and the serious consequences for the free exercise of Americans’ First Amendment rights, Chairman Jordan issued a subpoena today to FBI Director Wray for all documents related to the FBI’s actions.
On February 16, 2023, Chairman Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) sought information from the FBI relating to a January 23, 2023 “domain perspective” document generated by the Richmond Field Office entitled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.” After receiving no response, the Committee reiterated its request in a subsequent letter dated March 20, 2023. On March 23, 2023, the FBI produced a substandard and partial response consisting of only 18 pages—many with significant redactions of “personally identifiable information” or “specific non-public information about [FBI] investigations, sources, and methods” that prevents the Committee from fully assessing the content and context of the documents and obtaining information requested from the Bureau.
From this limited production, it is apparent that the FBI, relying on information derived from at least one undercover employee, sought to use local religious organizations as “new avenues for tripwire and source development.” For example, in a section of a January 23, 2023, domain perspective document entitled “Opportunities,” the FBI wrote:
“In addition to [redaction], engage in outreach to the leadership of other [Society of Saint Pius X] chapels in the FBI Richmond [area of responsibility] to sensitize these congregations to the warning signs of radicalization and to enlist their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.”
The FBI similarly noted two other opportunities to engage in outreach with religious institutions in the Richmond area, citing a desire “to sensitize the congregation to the warning signs of radicalization and enlist their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.” This outreach plan even included contacting so-called “mainline Catholic parishes” and the local “diocesan leadership.” The FBI also expressed an interest in “leverag[ing] existing sources and/or initiat[ing] Type 5 Assessments to develop new sources with the placement and access” to report on suspicious activity.
The document itself shows that its contents, including its proposal to develop sources in Catholic churches, were reviewed and approved by two senior intelligence analysts and even the local Chief Division Counsel. Whistleblowers have advised that the FBI distributed this document to field offices across the country.
This information is outrageous and reinforces the Committee’s need for all FBI records about the domain perspective document. Accordingly, and because Director Wray has not fully responded to the Committee’s earlier voluntary requests, Chairman Jordan is issuing a subpoena to the FBI for all records about the FBI’s January 23 domain perspective document.
Read the subpoena cover letter to Director Wray here.
Onward and upward,