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More FBI Wrongdoing Alleged

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The September 23 FBI raid of a Pennsylvania anti-abortion activist has prompted members of the Senate judiciary committee to launch their own investigation into the conduct of federal law enforcement, according to a letter they sent U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The man at the center of this story is Mark Houck, an anti-abortion activist who was indicted on two charges under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.

The FBI arrested Houck in an early morning raid that included “20 or more” agents with guns drawn. Houck’s wife explained, “They said they were going to break in if [my husband] didn’t open [the door]. And then they had about five guns pointed at my husband, myself, and basically at my kids.”

Houck’s indictment stems from an October 13, 2021, incident in which Houck allegedly pushed “an abortion clinic worker who allegedly shouted obscenities at Mr. Houck’s 11-year-old son and invaded his personal space, refusing to leave him alone.”

Houck’s lawyer, Matt Heffron, explained that Philadelphia police declined to make an arrest or pursue prosecution for the incident at the time. The abortion clinic worker later filed a criminal complaint, but this too was dismissed from court on April 22, 2022, after the individual “failed to appear at least two times for the scheduled trial.”

Soon after this dismissal, however, Houck received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) informing him that he was under investigation for potential violations of the “Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994” or FACE Act.

The legislation “makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care.”

After Houck received this notice, he hired Heffron, a former federal prosecutor, as his defense counsel. Heffron maintains that he made repeated attempts to contact the DOJ Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve via phone calls, voice messages, and emails.

Heffron alleged that in these communications, he made it clear his client was willing to cooperate and would appear voluntarily if summoned by federal authorities. Yet the federal government never responded to or acknowledged these communications.

The DOJ’s investigation eventually led to an indictment on two counts punishable by a combined “11 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and fines up to $350,000.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote in a separate September 26 letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, “Not only did your office turn a local dispute into a national case, but the FBI reportedly executed the search warrant in as extreme a manner as one can imagine.”

The Philadelphia FBI office has denied wrongdoing, suggesting that “the number of personnel and vehicles widely reported as being on scene Friday is an overstatement, and the tactics used by FBI personnel were professional, in line with standard practices, and intended to ensure the safety of everyone present in and outside the residence.”

Hawley released his letter publicly on Twitter, saying, “I want to know from Merrick Garland directly why Biden’s DOJ is arresting Catholic protestors like terrorists — complete with SWAT-style tactics — while letting actual terrorist acts like fire bombings go unpunished.”

The fire bombings to which he refers are a reference to the “epidemic of violence across the country by pro-abortion extremists against pregnancy resource centers, houses of worship, and pro-life Americans — violent acts that are prohibited by the very same law under which you are charging Mark Houck,” Hawley wrote.

Citing over 100 incidents, Hawley decried, “Despite my repeated requests, you still have not identified a single prosecution the Department of Justice has taken in response to this epidemic of violence against pro-life Americans.”

The Republican members of the Senate judiciary committee ended their letter with questions they would like answered before beginning their inquiry into the conduct of the FBI, including the names of those involved in key decisions as well as the justification used for not allowing Houck to surrender voluntarily upon being charged.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted a brief video interview of him discussing this topic in which he said, “Merrick Garland has done more damage to the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI than any attorney general in history.”

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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Hawley Cruz
Hawley Cruz
1 month ago

As always, the extreme right, Hawley and Cruz especially, are trying to take the focus away from the criminal former president. Remember, these 2 refused to acknowledge the election results and are being investigated themselves.

Dave B
Dave B
Reply to  Hawley Cruz
1 month ago

So your contention, if I understand you correctly, is that two elected members of congress are, by their actions seeking some justification for this FBI raid on an abortion protestors home, seeking distraction from the former presidents legal affairs?

And additionally they are finding a way to distract from their own cases being investigated?

Thanks for the clarification and for keeping the focus on what the story is about.

BrettMcgurnsley
BrettMcgurnsley
Reply to  Dave B
1 month ago

You forgot to include the J6 investigation itself being unsuccessfully used by the democrats to distract away from the economy, inflation and their totalitarian lockdowns and vaccine mandates.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  BrettMcgurnsley
1 month ago

Unsuccessful? A bunch of dudes around Trump have been convicted, as well as mindless sheep that didn’t realize that they were committing crimes by entering the Capitol because they are idiots.

And the economy has been going down since Trump was in office and you could even say his tactics of not raising interest rates contributed to inflation.

Are you people this dumb?

Janet
Janet
Reply to  Bill Fox
1 month ago

Yes they are.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  Dave B
1 month ago

What justification is needed? The dude was indicted, which is the focus of the story.

Jay
Jay
1 month ago

Why did you take your 11 year old child to a protest? Looks like Hawley wanted to look like the victim from the jump. These anti abortion people are always probing trying to find a weakness they can exploit,

Pap
Pap
Reply to  Jay
1 month ago

Right, but just ignore the damage and threats the pro -abortion people cause. The dems are CONSTANTLY exploiting issues! You’re on the side of killing human beings for selfish reasons, so I have absolutely no respect for your opinions. Killing a baby is evil, trying to save babies is not. God is watching.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  Pap
1 month ago

What if you don’t believe in god? By asserting your religious beliefs on atheists you are then oppressing their beliefs or are you not intelligent enough to grasp that.

Aborting an unwanted child saves us all money in social assistance, money fighting crime when these unwanted kids grow up, and saves these unwanted kids from being abused by parents that don’t want them.

Stop with your self-righteous BS. Adopt all for these unwanted kids.

Janet
Janet
Reply to  Pap
1 month ago

Will you be the first to adopt, or provide the resources needed for the raising of an unwanted child. Yes, “killing babies is evil”, but not providing the resources to keep them alive is also evil.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
1 month ago

So an person accused of a federal crime is now a victim? This online rag needs to pick a lane. Is it against crime or for it? Can’t be both.

Also, we are taking quotes from Hawley? The dude that “stood” with people attempting a coup, then ran away like a b*tch.