WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — A committee of the U.S. House of Representatives set to investigate the weaponization of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal agencies is set to hold its first hearing Thursday at noon. According to leading House members, the committee will also investigate the weaponization of federal agencies against pro-lifers.
A primary focus of the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government’s investigation into the weaponization of federal agencies against pro-lifers will be the disparity of enforcement of the Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, said Russell Dye, Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan’s communications director, to Catholic News Agency. Jordan, who established the committee last month, also serves as its chairman.
The committee’s first hearing follows shortly after the acquittal of Catholic pro-life leader Mark Houck on federal charges of violating the FACE Act. Houck was arrested in a dawn raid by the Biden FBI in September, with dozens of heavily armed agents swarming the Houcks’ Pennsylvania property.
The DOJ charged Houck with two felonies for allegedly violating the FACE Act when he pushed abortion clinic “escort” Bruce Love, 73, during sidewalk altercations on two separate occasions in 2021.
UPDATE (01/30/23): Mark Houck has been AQUITTED on both charges!
Thanks be to God LifeSiteNews can report that Mark Houck has been found "Not Guilty" on all counts today.
In a statement to LifeSiteNews, Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania spokeswoman and Houck family friend Ashley Garecht said “We rejoice and celebrate that Mark Houck has been found not guilty on all counts.”
“This case was always about a father’s right to protect his son, and never had anything to do with the FACE act,” she said. “We are grateful to the judge for his integrity, and to the jurors for their thoughtful deliberations. We are grateful to Mark’s attorneys who labored so diligently in his defense. And we are grateful for all of those who surrounded and supported Mark and his family in prayer through this challenging ordeal.”
“Most of all we praise and thank God for his protection and provision,” Garecht added. “To Him be all the glory.”
The Thomas More Society is set to hold a press conference today on the 6th street side of the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia.
Monday’s verdict came after a tense weekend wait following a deadlocked jury on Friday.
Several hours into Monday’s deliberations after the jury reconvened, an alternate was chosen to replace one of the jurors. Just before 3:00 p.m. EST, the jury delivered its verdict, acquitting Houck on both charges.
Mark Houck, a pro-life Catholic father of 7, became the latest victim of an FBI raid and arrest on the morning of Friday September 23 — for supposed “FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act” violations — at his rural home as his children looked on “screaming.”
The arrest and raid stems from an altercation with a Planned Parenthood worker.
According to Mark’s wife Ryan-Marie, a “pro-abortion protester” would verbally harrass Mark's 12-year old son — hurling vulgar and derogatory statements.
When the protestor encroached in the boy's space, Mark defended his son. At that point, “Mark shoved him away from his child, and the guy fell back,” Ryan-Marie recounts.
The protestor was not injured, but he tried to sue Mark Houck for the assault but his case was thrown out of court in the early summer.
WE CANNOT ALLOW THE LEFT TO HARRASS PRO-LIFE ADVOCATES THIS WAY!
It's vital to stand in solidarity with a pro-family and pro-life man being unjustly persecuted - please SIGN & SHARE our message of support now.
In case you hadn't caught on already, the satanic Biden administration is waging war on Christians. https://t.co/E6ChpZVDYW— Michael (X) Knowles ✊ (@michaeljknowles) September 24, 2022
The description of this arrest sounds like it took place in a totalitarian state. A tragic unraveling of Justice in America. https://t.co/e3vEID7E39— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) September 25, 2022
If convicted, Houck faces up to a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000, according to the Justice Department.
Additional conservative pro-life leaders have weighed in — this is why we need your support ASAP.
“Just in the last few days we’ve seen some pretty glaring examples of what appear to be instances of DOJ [Department of Justice] overreach. You’ve got a Catholic father of seven who formed a group designed to encourage young men to be faithful to their commitments, arrested in front of his seven children just recently. You’ve got all these instances of overreach. It’s deeply concerning to us all. These are all things we’re gonna be looking into.” — US Senator Mike Lee
Tell the Houck family that you stand by them!
SIGN: We stand with pro-life Catholic dad of 7 raided by Biden’s FBI
Please share this petition widely. Let's stand in solidarity with Mark Houck and his family.
READ: Mark Houck details Planned Parenthood escort’s vulgar harassment of his son in Fox News interview
Weeks after Houck’s arrest, pro-life activist Paul Vaughn was raided by the FBI for allegedly violating the FACE Act in 2021. Ten other activists were charged with FACE Act violations for the same incident. Similarly, Red Rose Rescuer Fr. Fidelis Moscinski was found guilty on January 23 of violating the same federal law.
In contrast, only two people face charges under the FACE Act for vandalizing a pro-life pregnancy center in Florida, though in November, FBI Director Christopher Ray announced that nearly 70 percent of abortion-related violence after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was directed against pro-life groups.
The committee is set to consider 11 instances of alleged politicization of the FBI and the DOJ, including the use of the FACE Act to arrest pro-lifers like Houck and Vaughn.
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews’ Doug Mainwaring, the committee will also investigate the “politicization of the FBI” in relation to the agency’s involvement with the allegations of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election; the connections that Big Tech has with the federal government, to see if government pressure led to the censorship or harassment of conservative social media accounts; Anthony Fauci’s position on COVID misinformation; the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) attempt to investigate parents who protested school COVID policies; and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) attempt to establish a Disinformation Governance Board.
The committee will have the power to issue subpoenas and is expected to release a report on its findings on January 2, 2025. Jordan himself has stated that he will not hesitate to issue subpoenas in order to force federal agencies to cooperate with investigations.
Panelists of the first hearing have already been made public. One panel consists of U.S. Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, as well as former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. Grassley and Johnson previously launched an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings, and Johnson called for an investigation into the alleged FBI suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story. In an interview with Fox News last year, Grassley also noted at least one possible example of the FBI suppressing an investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Another panel consists of George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley and former FBI agents Thomas Baker and Nicole Parker. Turley is expected to discuss censorship, Baker is expected to discuss the necessity for an independent FBI, and Parker is expected to discuss her reasons for leaving the bureau, which she claims had become increasingly politically weaponized.
Last Friday, Jordan sent subpoenas to the DOJ, FBI, and Department of Education (DOE) with regard to a government task force designed to investigate parents who protested school COVID policies.
Speaking Tuesday, Jordan explained that dozens of whistleblowers approached the House Judiciary Committee discussing “how the Justice Department is now operating and operated in such a political fashion and manner.” Jordan also referenced the Twitter Files disclosure of the suppression of a New York Post story first covered Hunter Biden’s laptop, claiming that the suppression shows how “big tech and big government are colluding to keep information from ‘We, the people.’”
LifeSite asked Jordan’s office for comment but has yet to receive a response.