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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

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Judicial Watch and CatholicVote Sue FBI and Justice Department for Records of Targeting Catholics

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit along with CatholicVote Civic Action against the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Department of Justice for records containing key words and records about an FBI intelligence memo targeting “radical traditionalist” Catholics (CatholicVote Civic Action and Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Federal Bureau of Investigations and Department of Justice (No. 1:23-cv-01166)).

In February 2023, an FBI intelligence document was leaked that revealed FBI targeting of Catholics who adhere to traditional beliefs on abortion and other cultural issues. The Catholic News Agency reported: “The leaked document has been condemned by several federal and state officials, as well as clergy, including Bishop Barry Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond, who recently called the memo a ‘threat to religious liberty.’”

On March 8, 2023, Judicial Watch and CatholicVote sent four FOIA requests to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI, a division of the Department of Justice) for:

(a) All emails, Lync messages, and text messages sent to and from the following FBI Headquarters officials: Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Director Paul Abbate, Asst. Director George P. Beach, II, General Counsel Jason Jones, Chief of Staff Jonathan Lenzner, Executive Asst. Dir. Larissa Knapp, and Asst. Dir. Timothy Langan for the period March 1, 2022 to the present referencing:

·       “Catholics”

·       “Latin Mass”

·       “Radical-Traditionalist Catholics”

·       “RTC”

·       “Church Militant”

·       “Catholic League”

·       “Southern Poverty Law Center”

·       “SPLC”

·       “Pope Francis”

·       “Vatican II”

·       “Second Vatican Council”

·       “Rosary”

·       “FSSP”

(b) All emails, Lync messages, and text messages sent to and from the following FBI Richmond Field Office (RFO) officials: SAIC Stanley Meador, ASAIC David Lewis, ASAIC Stephen Farina, and the FBI Richmond Chief Division Counsel for the period March 1, 2022 to the present referencing: 

·       “Catholics”

·       “Latin Mass”

·       “Radical-Traditionalist Catholics”

·       “RTC”

·       “Church Militant”

·       “Catholic League”

·       “Southern Poverty Law Center”

·       “SPLC”

·       “Pope Francis”

·       “Vatican II”

·       “Second Vatican Council”

·       “Rosary”

·       “FSSP”

(c) All emails, Lync messages, and text messages sent to and from the following FBI Headquarters officials: Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Director Paul Abbate, Asst. Director George P. Beach, II, General Counsel Jason Jones, Chief of Staff Jonathan Lenzner, Executive Asst. Dir. Larissa Knapp, and Asst. Dir. Timothy Langan for the period March 1, 2022 to the present referencing:

·       actions taken to remove the Intelligence Note from FBI systems;

·       the FBI review of (1) the basis for the Intelligence Note and (2) any official FBI actions taken pursuant to the Intelligence Note

(d) All emails, Lync messages, and text messages sent to and from the following FBI Richmond Field Office (RFO) officials: SAIC Stanley Meador, ASAIC David Lewis, ASAIC Stephen Farina, and the FBI Richmond Chief Division Counsel for the period March 1, 2022 to the present referencing:

·       actions taken to remove the Intelligence Note from FBI systems;

·       the FBI review of (1) the basis for the Intelligence Note; (2) any official FBI actions taken pursuant to the Intelligence Note

Also, on March 8, 2023, Judicial Watch and CatholicVote sent similar FOIA requests to the U.S. Department of Justice; Office of the Attorney General and Office of the Deputy Attorney General.

“Our weaponized and corrupt government agencies have demonstrated a pattern of contempt for justice and the rule of law by prioritizing partisan ideology and agendas over the protection of the American people – in particular those with whom they disagree politically,” said CatholicVote President Brian Burch. “We are demanding transparency from our government and are determined to uncover just how high up the anti-Catholic bigotry goes.”

“In a brazen attack on the First Amendment and Christians, the Biden FBI planned to treat Catholics as potential terrorists and spy on them in their churches,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And now, as our new FOIA lawsuit shows, the FBI and Justice Departments are trying to cover their tracks by hiding documents about this growing scandal.

CatholicVote.org is a community of patriotic Americans who believe that the timeless truths of the Catholic faith are good for America. It makes its mission “to inspire every Catholic in America to live out the truths of our faith in public life.”

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