FBI offices ‘coordinated’ in drafting memo targeting Catholics, say Republican lawmakers

FBI offices ‘coordinated’ in drafting memo targeting Catholics, say Republican lawmakers

Jim Jordan and Mike Johnson say several FBI field offices were engaged in composing a contentious internal memo linking Catholic groups to extremism

By Firdevs Bulut Kartal

TORONTO (AA) - Several FBI field offices were involved in drafting an internal memo in January which suggested that traditionalist Catholic groups were hotbeds of domestic extremism, two Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee said Wednesday.

US representatives Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Mike Johnson, chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on the matter.

Citing the document, they alleged it showed that the FBI's Richmond field office in Virginia worked in coordination with multiple FBI field offices to produce a fact sheet targeting "traditional Catholics" as "potential local terrorists."

They added that the newly released version of the document also contradicted Wray’s congressional testimony on the matter.

“The newly produced version of the document explicitly states that FBI Richmond ‘coordinated with’ FBI Portland in preparing the assessment,” they wrote in the letter.

“Thus, it appears that both FBI Portland and FBI Los Angeles field offices were involved in or contributed to the creation of the FBI’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists,” it said.

Regarding the document, which implied that "radical, traditionalist Catholics" were anti-Jewish, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ and believed in white supremacy, FBI Director Wray argued that it was "a product of a field office” and did not meet FBI standards.

Wray said during his July testimony that he was "aghast" when he learned of the document and ordered it removed from FBI systems.

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