Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Through FOIA Request
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, has obtained documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that allegedly reveal the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) targeting Catholics as “potential terrorists.” These documents were related to an internal FBI memo leaked earlier this year, which sparked controversy and criticism from Republicans.
FBI Memo Identifies Radical-Traditionalist Catholics as Threats
The leaked FBI memo, titled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities,” identified “radical-traditionalist Catholic[s]” as potential “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.” It stated that further investigation into this ideology could provide opportunities for threat mitigation.
Judicial Watch Challenges FBI’s Denial
Judicial Watch argues that the newly obtained documents disprove the FBI’s claim that the targeting of Catholics was limited to one field office. The organization suggests that the issue was more widespread and potentially approved by top lawyers within the FBI. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton believes that these documents warrant a criminal inquiry into what he calls the “Biden FBI scandal.”
Conservatives Allege Broader Scope of FBI Targeting
Conservatives have long alleged that the FBI’s targeting of Catholics was more extensive than the bureau acknowledged. They point to similar documents uncovered by Republicans, which indicate the involvement of several field offices. Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and co-chair Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., wrote a letter in August expressing their concerns about the FBI’s alleged intrusion on Americans’ First Amendment rights.
FBI Denies Targeting Catholics, Cites Internal Review
The FBI has consistently denied targeting Catholics or any specific religious group. An FBI spokesperson stated that the leaked memo did not meet the bureau’s standards and was promptly removed from their systems. The spokesperson emphasized the FBI’s commitment to upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans and stated that investigations are based on violence, threats, and violations of federal law.
Despite the FBI’s denial, Judicial Watch contends that the obtained documents provide evidence to the contrary and raise questions about the bureau’s actions. The controversy surrounding this issue continues to unfold.