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Mark HouckHouck family

(LifeSiteNews) – The Biden administration’s indictment against pro-life activist Mark Houck contains details of his alleged offense that the pro-abortion complainant himself did not make in his original criminal complaint, in what appears to be an attempt to inflate the facts to justify making the case a federal matter.

Houck is the founder and president of The King’s Men, which promotes healing for victims of pornography addiction and promotes Christian virtues among men in the United States and Europe. He also drives two hours south to Philadelphia every Wednesday to sidewalk counsel for six to eight hours at two different abortion centers.

According to Houck’s family, outside one of the centers last year, Houck pushed 70-year-old pro-abortion activist Bruce Love, who had been harassing his then-12-year-old son. The family says Houck shoved the man away to protect the child from Love, who was verbally hostile and had intruded on his personal space, and though Love fell down he was uninjured.

The altercation, a local matter that had long since been tossed out of court when Love failed to appear for the hearing, somehow drew the interest of the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) under President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland, which on the morning of September 23 sent a team of 25 to 30 FBI agents and around 15 vehicles to swarm their property

Weapons drawn, “they started pounding on the door and yelling for us to open it,” according to Mark’s wife Ryan-Marie. Frightening their children, the agents arrested Houck and took him away, charging him with violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, due to a claimed “ATTACK OF A PATIENT ESCORT.”

This week, The Federalist senior legal correspondent Margot Cleveland obtained and reviewed a copy of Love’s private criminal complaint, revealing key discrepancies between it and the current federal indictment.

Whereas the Biden Justice Department alleges two instances of Houck shoving Love, one of which occurring while the latter “attempted to escort two” Planned Parenthood patients, Love’s original complaint only alleges one instance that occurred while he was “waiting for clients,” with no mention of escorting anyone. 

While it is not yet clear where the new claim about escorts (which Thomas More Society vice president and senior counsel Peter Breen calls “absolutely false”) came from, it appears to be the key to claiming the incident falls under federal jurisdiction, as without Love being interrupted in performing escort duties, Houck’s shove cannot be construed as an attempt to interfere with clinic access as protected by the FACE Act.

Cleveland also notes that, per a letter Republican senators sent to FBI Director Chris Wray, the FBI raid was doubly unnecessary because, three months beforehand, Thomas More Society lawyer Matt Heffron had informed the Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve that Houck would appear voluntarily to face the charges. But Eve never replied, until writing to notify Heffron that Houck had been taken into custody after the raid.

The story of Houck’s plight has gone viral since LifeSiteNews broke it, eliciting outrage from elected Republicans and grassroots conservatives over the Biden administration’s persecution of a committed pro-lifer and lack of comparable action against a months-long wave of pro-abortion violence, as well as the worsening internal culture of federal law enforcement.