Why didn’t Merrick Garland tell the truth about the FBI’s Guy Fawkes obsession?

Merrick Garland, Josh Hawley.png
Attorney General Merrick Garland and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). (AP Photos)

Why didn’t Merrick Garland tell the truth about the FBI’s Guy Fawkes obsession?

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Thank goodness Merrick Garland was never allowed onto the Supreme Court.

The former federal judge and current United States attorney general is being savaged for what definitely looks like false testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month about the targeting of traditionalist Catholic parishes by the FBI.



Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) penned the letter above, recounting specific questions he had asked Garland about an FBI document identifying Latin Mass Catholics as a potential terrorist threat. That document, which DOJ has since rescinded as “not meeting standards” for the FBI, was essentially cribbed from a 15-year-old fundraising appeal by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The origin of the document was spotted by a traditionalist Catholic podcaster because of the out-of-date information it contained.

SPLC, known for aligning itself with, and inspiring, violent left-wing extremists, has previously been forced to settle for, and is currently being sued for, defaming individuals and groups for “hate.” That such an ancient tract from such an extreme organization should become the basis of an FBI intelligence document is itself quite revealing. But when asked about whether the FBI was “cultivating sources and spies in Latin mass parishes and other Catholic parishes around the country,” Garland was completely unwavering and categorical with his denial:

“No, the Justice Department does not do that. It does not do investigations based on religion.”

Perhaps Garland should have been more careful about how he answered this question because the House Judiciary Committee has since unearthed evidence that it isn’t true.


The House committee’s information shows FBI efforts to cultivate informants in the Society of Saint Pius X (schismatic) Catholic parishes, as well as “mainline” Catholic parishes. And that has Hawley understandably upset.

“First,” writes Hawley, “the FBI’s infiltration proposal was apparently based on information from an undercover employee. The FBI does in fact have ‘informants aimed at Catholic churches,’ contrary to your testimony. And second, the FBI apparently contemplated ‘engag[ing] in outreach to the leadership’ of Catholic traditionalist parishes, for the purpose of ‘sensitiz[ing] these congregations to the warning signs of radicalization and [enlisting] their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.’ This shows that the Department is clearly ‘cultivating sources and spies’ in Catholic parishes, regardless of what you claimed before the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Hawley isn’t wrong about that part.

And for the record, no, I don’t feel that my parish priest is going to rat me out for having politically incorrect views about something or other. But given how Garland’s DOJ has targeted parents for getting upset about far-left DEI brainwashing and pornographic materials in public schools, I don’t trust the guy for a second.


At best, this FBI focus on terrorism, ala Guy Fawkes, is more than 400 years out of date. At worst, this is a calculated effort to harass people because of their religion — something the Biden administration increasingly seems to enjoy doing.

So yes, keep pressing. Keep Garland on his back foot. Everyone’s civil liberties depend on it.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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