Multiple FBI field offices worked to produce the memo targeting traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists, the House Judiciary Committee says.
That revelation contradicts recent testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who told the committee on July 12 that the bureau’s actions were limited to “a single field office.”
The House panel for months has sought information related to the FBI’s Jan. 23 document, generated by the bureau’s Richmond field office, entitled, “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”
On July 25, the FBI produced a version of the document with fewer redactions.
The latest version shows that both FBI Portland and FBI Los Angeles field offices were involved in, or contributed to, the creation of the bureau’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.
Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government Chairman Mike Johnson, R-La., informed Wray of their discovery in a letter dated Wednesday.
“This revelation raises the question of why you redacted this information in previous versions of the document you produced to the Committee, and it reinforces the Committee’s need for all FBI material responsive to the April 10 subpoena, including the production of FBI’s Richmond document without redactions,” the lawmakers wrote.
“We look forward to receiving a briefing on the FBI’s internal review of this matter and to interviewing the Special Agent in Charge of the Richmond Field Office. However, we again reiterate our outstanding requests, including our request to conduct a transcribed interview with the Chief Division Counsel who approved the Richmond document.”
Jordan and Johnson added, “We invite you to amend your testimony to fully explain the nature and scope of the FBI’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.”
On April 10, the Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena after the FBI failed to voluntarily comply with the panel’s request for more information related to the document.
Then, on July 17, the lawmakers wrote Wray and threatened to seek enforcement of the subpoena through contempt proceedings.
A federal whistleblower leaked the anti-Catholic document in early February.
Whistleblower Kyle Seraphin wrote that the author of the memo defines radical traditionalist Catholics as those who are “typically characterized by the rejection of the Second Vatican Council.”
Vatican II, which concluded in 1965, revised the Latin Mass with the Mass of Paul VI.
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