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FBI interviewed priest, church choir director ahead of anti-Catholic memo, House Weaponization Committee finds

First appearance on Fox: A House Weapons Committee report obtained by Fox News Digital revealed that the FBI interviewed priests and church choir directors as part of an investigation into traditional Catholics, while subpoenaing them. The court determined that this showed that “there was no legitimate basis for the memorandum to include federal documents.” Law enforcement enters Catholic church. ”

The House Judiciary Committee and Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released an internal FBI Richmond memo titled “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists’ Concern Against Radical Traditionalists.” In response, the FBI is investigating the classification of certain Catholic Americans as possible domestic terrorists. Catholic ideology almost certainly provides new opportunities for relaxation. ”

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The memo, leaked in January, identified “radical traditionalist Catholics.”[s]” are potential “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” and “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists of the Radical Traditionalist Catholic (RTC) ideology.” (RMVE) almost certainly presents an opportunity to mitigate the threat by exploring new avenues for tripwires and intelligence sources.” development. “

But the committee found the FBI “misused counterterrorism tools to target Catholic Americans as potential domestic terrorists,” according to a report first obtained Monday by FOX News Digital. did.

“The Committee and the Select Subcommittee found that the FBI relied on at least one undercover agent to prepare its assessments, and that the FBI relied on sources among Catholic clergy and church leaders. even proposed to develop a.” “In addition to offering to develop sources, the FBI has already interviewed priests and choir leaders at a Catholic church in Richmond, Virginia, to develop a memorandum.”

The committee said a whistleblower revealed that FBI interviews with a priest and choir director at a Catholic church in Richmond, Virginia, were used to “provide information regarding parishioners under investigation.” said.

The committee also said that without whistleblowing, the memo “would still operate within the FBI system and violate the religious freedom of millions of Catholic Americans.”

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The committee found that “errors” had been made “at every stage of the memorandum’s drafting, review, approval and deletion process.”

The report also says that the Richmond memo’s basis “relies on a single study in the Richmond field office’s area of ​​responsibility in which subjects ‘identified’ as ‘radical traditionalist Catholics.'” Says. Employees “failed to define the meaning of RTC when preparing, editing, and reviewing the memorandum.”

“Yet, this single investigation became the basis for an FBI-wide memo warning of the dangers of ‘radical’ Catholics,” the report states.

United States – July 12: FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation” on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at the Rayburn Building. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc, via Getty Images)

“Although the FBI claims it does not classify investigations as domestic terrorism based on the subject’s religious beliefs (including Catholicism), an FBI-wide memo from the FBI’s Richmond field office does just that. “In the name of addressing the threat of domestic terrorism, this memo paints some ‘radical traditionalist Catholics’ (RTCs) as violent extremists,” the report states. He offered the opportunity to infiltrate the Catholic Church as a form of ‘threat mitigation.’

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However, the FBI denies conducting a religion-based investigation and claims the memo was deleted from FBI systems once it was discovered.

The FBI said it was “investigating violence, threats of violence, and violations of federal law.”

“We do not conduct investigations based solely on religious affiliation, religious practices, or other First Amendment protected activities,” the FBI said in a statement.

The FBI said, “To be clear, this document is from a domain perspective and is designed to address potential threats in a specific area, in this case the Richmond Field Office’s area of ​​responsibility.” “It is an intelligence product because it did not meet the requirements,” the FBI said. In accordance with FBI standards, this file was immediately removed from all FBI systems and an investigation was launched to determine how it was created in the first place. ”

jim jordan committee

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, center during a public hearing on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, in Washington, DC, USA. FBI Director Wray is testifying before the committee amid calls from conservative hardliners. for his expulsion. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On July 25, the FBI produced a version of the Richmond dossier with fewer edits than the two versions it had previously provided. That version revealed that investigations into Catholic organizations in Los Angeles and Portland were reflected in memos from the Richmond office. The report also said the Milwaukee FBI was involved.

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Meanwhile, the report says documents obtained under the committee’s subpoena show that “the FBI has identified potential domestic “This shows that they were singled out as terrorists,” he said.

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