Recently disclosed evidence challenges statements made by FBI Director Christopher Wray concerning the Bureau’s investigation into traditional Catholics. House Judiciary Committee members have made startling claims suggesting multiple FBI offices were involved in creating a controversial memo, contrary to Wray’s previous sworn testimony.
The memo in question had targeted traditional Catholics, linking them to domestic terrorism threats. Initially, Director Wray testified before Congress that this document was an isolated initiative from the FBI’s Richmond office. He expressed shock upon discovering its existence and immediately demanded its withdrawal.
Remember the FBI Richmond Field Office memo targeting Catholics as terrorists?
Director Wray testified that it was only “a single field office,” doing so.
Well, a newly subpoenaed document shows otherwise.
It looks like FBI Portland & FBI Los Angeles were also involved.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) August 9, 2023
However, recent developments have painted a different story. Committee Chairman Jim Jordan took to the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, stating, “Director Wray testified that it was only ‘a single field office’ doing so. Well, a newly subpoenaed document shows otherwise.” The committee suggests involvement from the Richmond office and FBI field offices in Los Angeles and Portland.
Evidence supporting this claim is rooted in a lesser-redacted version of the memo. As Chairman Jordan and Subcommittee Chairman Mike Johnson pointed out in a letter to Wray, the document “explicitly shows that both FBI Portland and FBI Los Angeles field offices were involved in or contributed to the FBI’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.”
The narrative now turns toward transparency and accountability. Republicans believe that the newer, less-redacted memo showcases that investigations into Catholic organizations in Los Angeles and Portland directly influenced the Richmond office memo. The most concerning revelation from the document is that FBI Richmond had “coordinated with” FBI Portland during the memo’s creation.
This raises several pressing questions. Why was this information redacted in previous versions? Why did Director Wray’s testimony suggest otherwise if multiple offices were involved?
The FBI has maintained its stance on the matter. In a statement provided to multiple news outlets, they reiterated, “Director Wray’s testimony on this matter has been accurate and consistent.” They also clarified the memo’s purpose, explaining it was an intelligence product designed for the Richmond Field Office’s jurisdiction.
Here is the White House position on the FBI targeting described by press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre earlier this year:
Now, conservatives are raising broader concerns about the limits of federal surveillance. Chairman Jordan stated in a conversation with The Daily Signal, “First, they went after moms and dads at school board meetings. Now, they’re going after traditional Catholics. When’s it going to stop?”
This saga has underscored the tense relationship between Congress and the FBI. The House Judiciary Committee is adamant in its pursuit of answers, reinforcing its requests for documentation, communications, and any intelligence based on the memo. With an August 23 deadline set by the committee for the FBI’s response, Americans await a clearer understanding of this delicate situation.
As these details unfold, the concern for many is more than just the specifics of one memo or the testimony of one official. The heart of the matter is ensuring that the pillars of justice, faith and free speech stand tall and unassailable in the face of governmental scrutiny.