Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) went toe to toe with Attorney General Merrick Garland over his recent testimony. He argued that a portion of what he said before the Senate had been misleading at best and outright false at worst.
Sen. Hawley sent a letter to the AG’s office on Tuesday morning and shared it publicly through a tweet.
“Merrick Garland told me — under oath — the FBI was not targeting Catholic parishes. That appears to have been a lie,” the Missouri senator tweeted. “I want the truth.”
Hawley went further in the letter saying that since Garland’s testimony in early March, evidence has come to the surface refuting some of the claims that the attorney general had made at the time.
“I went on to ask you whether the Department was ‘cultivating sources and spies in Latin mass parishes and other Catholic parishes around the country.’ And again, your response could not have been clearer: ‘No, the Justice Department does not do that. It does not do investigations based on religion,’” Hawley wrote.
“Finally, I asked you ‘how many informants do you have in Catholic churches across America?’ You denied the claim a third time: ‘I don’t know, and I don’t believe we have any informants aimed at Catholic churches.’ All of this was false, as recent investigative findings by the House Judiciary Committee show,” Hawley continued.
Hawley ended the letter by addressing Garland directly, “Let’s be clear: your Department has decided to turn Catholic congregations into front organizations for the FBI, and when asked about it, you’ve decided to fudge the truth before Congress. This is an unconscionable assault on American Catholics’ First Amendment rights and an abdication of your duty to enforce the law without fear or favor.”
This letter comes now with a report from the House Judiciary’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, and a letter from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to FBI Director Christopher Wray. This information indicates that the Bureau had used “at least one undercover agent” to spy on Catholic parishioners in Virginia.
Merrick Garland told me – under oath – the FBI was not targeting Catholic parishes. That appears to have been a lie. I want the truth 👇 pic.twitter.com/HE8ncapeYz
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) April 11, 2023