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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – Congressional Republicans want Attorney General Merrick Garland to answer for the Friday morning raid on the home of pro-life Catholic and father of seven Mark Houck.
Houck pleaded not guilty yesterday to the two federal charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in 2021 when he is alleged to have pushed an abortion clinic employee who was harassing his 12-year-old son. State level charges were already dismissed this summer.
The lawmakers’ letter, released on Tuesday, asks Garland to explain the “extraordinary reason for showing up at the home of an American family, allegedly with roughly 25 heavily armed federal agents, and arresting a father in front of his seven children.”
“At the moment, it appears to be an extraordinary overreach for political ends,” the letter from Congressman Chip Roy of Texas and Senator Steve Daines of Montana states. Other signers include Idaho Senators James Risch and Mike Crapo and Mike Braun of Indiana. Representative Thomas Massie (KY) and Congresswoman Mary Miller (IL) are also among the 22 signers.
“We request an explanation for the excessive level of force used by the FBI in this case, and why the power of federal law enforcement was once again used against an American citizen in what should be a state and local matter,” the letter stated. “Please issue a written letter in response by Friday, September 30th, 2022.”
Rep. Roy, @SteveDaines, and 20 of their colleagues are demanding DOJ answer for the FBI’s raid of pro-life activist Mark Houck’s home using an “excessive level of force”
MORE: https://t.co/4oNeZ3YAzN pic.twitter.com/7MooN0iGpB
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) September 27, 2022
“Congress owes the American people transparent accountability for any and all wrongdoing by the FBI and Garland’s DOJ. Even further, the FBI needs a complete and total overhaul and we should return primary law enforcement power to the states and to get the Bureau out of the business of politics once and for all,” Congressman Roy said in his news release.
“The FBI’s treatment of pro-life leader Mark Houck is chilling,” Sen. Daines added. “Instead of allowing for a local resolution of the dispute, the FBI nationalized the matter by using excessive force with an early morning raid at gunpoint in front of young children. The American people deserve answers.”
RELATED: Report: Pro-abortion activist who accosted Mark Houck’s son has history of drugs, disorderly conduct
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.
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri also sent a letter on Monday making a similar request for information.
The raid is the latest incident of a politicized Department of Justice run by Garland. Just last month the FBI conducted an unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida.
Garland also asked federal law enforcement and prosecutors to keep a close eye on parents and conservative activists who spoke out against COVID school mandates and inappropriate materials in public schools.
A senior official in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and former attorney for the ACLU also recently called Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) a “hate group,” and told another attorney he would not want to be associated with him anymore for speaking at an event sponsored by the Christian legal nonprofit.
Eric Bruskin, assistant director of commercial litigation at the DOJ, wrote the comment on LinkedIn in response to a post from Jason Weida, who works for Governor Ron DeSantis and posted about speaking at an ADF event.
For LifeSite’s full coverage of Mark Houck, see HERE.