(LifeSiteNews) — The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently defended the agency’s dramatic raid of pro-life advocate Mark Houck.
During an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray backed his agency’s actions on September 23, 2022, when numerous armed agents swarmed Houck’s Pennsylvania home early in the morning and arrested him in front of his seven children.
After an incident occurred with an “escort” outside an abortion center, Houck was accused of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. He was acquitted of all charges on January 30, but the nature of his arrest has remained a highly controversial issue across the country.
“The show of force for that arrest, that decision to use that force, was that by the book?” Baier asked, referring to the early morning raid consisting of nearly 30 SWAT agents with rifles drawn and pointed at the man whose case had already been thrown out of court.
“Those decisions are made—as they should be—by the commanders on the ground, in the field office, who have the expertise about when to conduct operations safely and securely, for the safety of everybody involved,” Wray answered. “To my knowledge, those processes were all followed in this case.”
FBI Director Chris Wray defends the FBI sending 30 agents to arrest pro-life activist Mark Houck in front of his family but doing nothing about BLM activists who torch federal buildings:
“We have one standard which is irrespective of ideology or politics.” pic.twitter.com/b8CDcfmMK1
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 1, 2023
Baier then addressed the frustration of many Americans that such force was used on a peaceful protestor while the FBI fails to address actual violence with the same intensity. He cited the agency’s protocol that “a defendant—if he has no criminal history, is not believed to be violent or pose a threat to public safety—that he or she is permitted to self-surrender rather than subject dynamic execution of an arrest warrant.”
The news anchor referred to the lack of consistency as “the dual system.”
“There’s that for a pro-life activist but not that for a Black Lives Matter protestor who maybe torches a federal building over the summer,” Baier said. “So that disparity, that dichotomy, is what sticks in people’s minds.”
“I understand that people have their opinions,” Wray replied. “All I can tell you is that we have one standard—one standard—which is irrespective ideology or politics. In this country, it doesn’t matter what you’re upset about, or who you’re upset with. You don’t get to express that upset with violence. And so, we are agnostic as the ideology, and focus on the violence.”
Wray added that “there’s a whole lot of things that goes into the judgment about what is the way to conduct arrests safely and securely.” He expressed confidence in the “career agents on the ground” who make these decisions “appropriately.”
The director also argued that the agency’s “long history of conducting those operations with a far better track record of safety” than other organizations is due to the individuals who “take it so seriously and so meticulously.”
Following the raid on Houck’s home, the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) continued to track down pro-lifers, dealing out charges of FACE Act violations. Paul Vaughn, another pro-life activist and father, was arrested in a raid similar to the one conducted against Houck. Days before Houck’s acquittal, Fr. Fidelis Moscinski was found <guilty of violating the FACE Act for his actions during a peaceful Red Rose Rescue in 2022.
However, the FBI has not addressed widespread pro-abortion terrorism against crisis pregnancy centers with the same fervor. In January, two protestors were indicted by a grand jury for vandalizing pregnancy centers in Florida. Despite far more violence being directed towards pro-life groups than pro-abortion groups, these charges have been the only ones given to abortion activists.
Data from October shows that 135 attacks on pro-life organizations and individuals took place between the leak of the Supreme Court Dobbs opinion and September 24, 2022. Pro-abortion activists were subjects of violence in only six cases. The same data found that violence was targeted at pro-lifers more than 22 times more than violence was directed against abortion supporters.
Weeks after these numbers were released, Wray <admitted during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing that nearly 70% of abortion-related violence after Roe’s reversal was targeted against pro-life centers.