Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, revealed the FBI utilized an undercover agent to influence their leaking study on home-grown extremism among Catholics, according to a letter Jordan addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
The FBI suggested that its agents develop contacts in Catholic parishes to acquire moles inside the church leadership to report on Americans engaging in religious expression,” the memo said. The Committee made its recommendation based on the limited data given by the FBI.
Jordan’s Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena to Wray for records relevant to its examination into FBI probes of Catholic Americans. The FBI continues to insist that violent radicals are present.
On January 23, the FBI in Richmond, Virginia, released a report that raised concerns about spreading anti-LGBTQ, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and white supremacy among Roman Catholic groups that celebrate the Latin mass.
Jordan said she requested further information on both February 16 and March 20. The FBI’s sloppy and incomplete 18-page response, sent on March 23rd, claims that “at least one undercover agent” contributed to the January 23rd document.
The FBI sought to educate the congregation on the red flags of radicalization and enlist their help in acting as tripwires for suspicious conduct, as shown by the papers referenced in the letter.
The letter claims that this fresh piece of evidence highlights why it is essential for the Committee to get “all FBI data pertinent” to its request.
The Committee issued the subpoena because it believes that Wray “disregard[ed]” its requests.
In a statement, FBI Director Christopher Wray reaffirmed the bureau’s commitment to complying with congressional oversight requests in a way that upholds the law.
When Wray testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on March 8 that the FBI “would not target individuals for religious ideas” and “does not monitor people’s religious activities,” the FBI purged the document from its databases.