(HorizonPost.com) – The House Judiciary Committee has obtained a less redacted version of the controversial intelligence assessment memo from the FBI’s Richmond field office that recommended placing agents in “traditionalist” Catholic churches to root out alleged domestic violent extremists, the Washington Examiner reported.
The further unredacted version of the memo reveals that the intelligence assessment was not a “single product” from a single FBI field office as FBI Director Christopher Wray claimed in testimony to the Judiciary Committee in July.
In the unredacted version, obtained by the Examiner, the assessment relied on information from the Los Angeles field office and a “liaison contact” at the Portland field office.
In the document, which was first revealed in February by former FBI agent-turned-whistleblower Kyle Seraphin, the Richmond field office assessed the threat from “radical traditionalist Catholics” and suggested possible “mitigation opportunities,” including engaging with some Catholic churches to persuade their leadership to work as “tripwires” (sources) for the FBI.
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray last Wednesday, House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan called the further unredacted information “startling.”
Jordan said the newly unredacted portions suggest that the bureau’s use of its “law enforcement capabilities to intrude” on the First Amendment rights of Americans is “more widespread than initially suspected.” He said it also reveals “inconsistencies” in Director Wray’s previous testimony before the Judiciary Committee.
In July, Director Wray told the Judiciary Committee that the intelligence assessment was “a single product” from the Richmond field office and had been “removed from FBI systems.”
When asked to comment on the newly released portions of the memo, a spokesperson for the Justice Department referred the Washington Examiner to Director Wray’s July testimony and his subsequent letter to Chairman Jordan.
In his July letter, Wray said the internal review of the intelligence assessment was “nearly complete.” He offered to brief the Judiciary Committee on August 22.
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