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FBI Sent Undercover Agents to Church Services to Investigate ‘Domestic Extremism’

Jim Jordan served a subpoena on FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday, demanding papers about how the FBI handled a domestic violence investigation against Catholic Americans.

The head of the House Judiciary Committee, Jordan, claimed that at least one undercover agent was used by the FBI to produce their report and that they ran outreach efforts for Catholic parishes. This applied to both clergy and church leaders.

According to Jordan’s letter, the FBI dossier attempted to characterize specific subgroups of Catholic Americans as domestic terrorists by classifying Catholic Americans according to doctrinal disparities.

“We have repeatedly sought information from the FBI relating to a January 23, 2023 document. After receiving no response, we reiterated our outstanding requests in a subsequent letter dated March 20, 2023. On March 23, 2023, we received a substandard and partial response consisting of only 18 pages — many with significant redactions of ‘personally identifiable information’ or ‘specific non-public information about [FBI] investigations, sources, and methods’ that prevents the Committee from fully assessing the content and context of the documents and obtaining information requested from the Bureau.”

Jordan asserted that the FBI made an effort to use Catholic churches as potential sources to observe and compile information on their congregations. To worship and gather for spiritual and personal growth, Americans go to church. They must be allowed to exercise their core First Amendment rights without being concerned that the FBI has infiltrated their places of worship with so-called “tripwire” sources or other agents, according to Jordan.

The FBI’s request to create sources within Catholic churches was examined and authorized by two senior intelligence analysts as well as the local Chief Division Counsel, despite the FBI’s claims that it has “numerous” and “rigorous” regulations to protect First Amendment rights.

The FBI’s efforts clearly undermine the Catholic community and its core First Amendment rights by expressly targeting Catholic Americans and implying that their churches may be used as sources for monitoring and reporting on their own parishioners.

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