(LifeSiteNews) — One week after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) threatened to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress for withholding information, the FBI has handed over documents that further detail the agency’s efforts to infiltrate Latin Mass communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
On Tuesday, July 25, acting FBI assistant director Christopher Dunham provided the committee with what he called a “less-redacted version” of the FBI’s 8-page memo that was released by whistleblower Kyle Seraphin in February, and allegedly later withdrawn from internal circulation. The information contained in Dunham’s latest memo remains unknown, however, as he has asked Congress not to share its contents with the public.
A Jordan spokesperson has said the contempt of Wray has been put on hold for now. “We’re reviewing the documents the FBI provided today, and everything remains on the table.”
Catholics across the United States, both laity and clergy, were up in arms when news of the FBI’s monitoring of Traditional Catholics went public earlier this year. The agency had relied on reports released by the anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center as well as left-wing outlets like The Atlantic to justify its investigation.
As part of his effort to expose the weaponization of intelligence agencies by the Biden administration against conservative Americans, Jordan has repeatedly pressed the agency for further information regarding its surveillance activities. In April, he issued a subpoena for documents pertaining to the Seraphin memo, which was produced by the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia field office. In his letter to Wray on July 17, Jordan stated that the FBI had shared documents that were “heavily redacted” and intended to “exclude critical information,” a charge that Dunham disputed in his response Tuesday.
The FBI previously denied a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in March by the Midwest-based organization CatholicVote. “The FBI ignored CatholicVote’s request, emails, and letters, and continually put off responding to CatholicVote, despite the legal deadlines for responses,” the group has said. “On July 7, the FBI and the Department of Justice finally sent CatholicVote an official response, stating that CatholicVote does not have the right to access the surveillance information and dismissing the request.”
Jordan’s July 17 letter also accused the agency of not providing enough details surrounding purported meetings between the FBI and the Diocese of Richmond, which is led by Bishop Barry Knestout.
This outreach plan [by the FBI] even included contacting so-called ‘mainline Catholic parishes’ and the local ‘diocesan leadership.’ Redacted documents produced to the Committee highlight communications between the FBI and the Diocese of Richmond, but the redactions preclude the Committee from fully understanding the nature of these interactions. Further, the Committee believes additional communications exist, such as the organizing and scheduling of the March 24 meeting between FBI Richmond and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, that are responsive to the subpoena.
Dunham said Tuesday that the FBI has “produced a significant amount” of records related to the situation and that it is “unaware” of documents pertaining to communications with the diocese but that if they do exist “we will produce them to the committee expeditiously.”
LifeSiteNews will continue to provide updates on this story as they occur.