Hawley: The FBI ‘Regard Churches Apparently As The Enemy’

Eric Scheiner | April 12, 2023
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Sen. Josh Hawley has accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of providing false testimony to the Senate last month when he said his department is not developing sources inside Catholic churches and other houses of worship.

Hawley appeared on Fox News’ Hannity Tuesday evening to address his allegation.

“Listen, he knew at the time that he couldn't answer the question because it looked so bad. He knew that it looked beyond the pale. And it is beyond the pale, Sean, for the FBI to be going into any church in America and trying to spy on Americans, and now we know that's exactly what they were doing,” Hawley said.

They are infiltrating churches. They are trying to spy on us. They regard churches apparently as the enemy and churchgoing Americans as akin to terrorists. And yeah, the attorney general sat right there and told me, no, we don't do that. And now we know they do, in fact, target churches.”

Related: Jim Jordan Subpoenas FBI Dir. Wray Over Memo Comparing 'Radical-Traditionalist Catholics' to 'White Nationalists'

Hawley has fired off a letter to Garland calling for him to provide answers "immediately" on how many agents DOJ would "work with or otherwise employ" at both Catholic parishes and "in religious organizations more broadly."

Hawley told Hannity, “Look, all I know is what the House Judiciary Committee turned up, which is actual evidence that the FBI did go, Sean, and cultivate - I think they called it ‘undercover sources’ at these Catholic parishes that they stood up a program to try to get into these Catholic churches. And, Sean, you and I both know if they're doing it in Catholic churches. They're probably doing it in Orthodox communities. It's all over. I mean, you know for a fact that they're not just cherry picking.

This is a policy on their part. And we've seen it before, Sean. We've seen them use SWAT teams against pro-life Catholics. We have seen them go after parents who dare to question what they're doing in schools. This is a pattern and practice of this administration to use law enforcement against anybody who questions them and especially to use it against people of faith.”

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