Rep. Jordan: FBI used undercover agent at Catholic church in Richmond
WASHINGTON, DC (WWBT) - Republican Rep. Jim Jordan - the House Judiciary chairman - issued a subpoena Monday to FBI Director Christopher Wray for documents related to a now-withdrawn memo from Richmond’s field office that focused on extremism in the Catholic Church.
The committee says on its website that the “FBI relied on information derived from at least one undercover employee and sought to use local religious organizations as ‘new avenues for tripwire and source development.’”
The investigation was sparked by a Jan. 23 document from the FBI’s Richmond field office titled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”
The FBI wrote:
“In addition to [redaction], engage in outreach to the leadership of other [Society of Saint Pius X] chapels in the FBI Richmond [area of responsibility] to sensitize these congregations to the warning signs of radicalization and to enlist their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.”
“The FBI similarly noted two other opportunities to engage in outreach with religious institutions in the Richmond area, citing a desire ‘to sensitize the congregation to the warning signs of radicalization and enlist their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires,’” the House committee said in its report.
The FBI rescinded the memo on Feb. 8. The FBI office in Richmond had no comment Tuesday about the report.
When asked for comment, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office referred to a February article on The Daily Signal’s website where he said he was “stunned” about the FBI memo.
“While he is encouraged that the FBI removed the document, he believes there must be full transparency and accountability from FBI leadership as part of the review under way,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said at the time.
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