The same day 37 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray about investigating violence against pro-life groups, the FBI contacted an upstate New York pro-life pregnancy center — four months after it had been firebombed.
Days before the November midterm elections, a House GOP report that was broadly critical of the FBI highlighted 70 examples of violence against pro-life pregnancy centers since May that apparently have not been investigated.
About a week after the elections, the FBI field office in Buffalo announced a $25,000 reward to anyone who could help capture the man who hurled Molotov cocktails on June 7 into CompassCare, a pro-life pregnancy center in Amherst, New York.
The timing makes Rev. Jim Harden, CEO of CompassCare, skeptical that the FBI’s increased interest is based on politics — and concerns about possible congressional oversight.
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“There have been over 70 attacks just on pro-life pregnancy centers, to say nothing of other pro-life organizations and conservative churches,” Harden told Fox News Digital. “It tells me the FBI has limited resources and that their leadership is making a decision to deprioritize investigations of pro-life centers. It is naive to think that the largest policing agency on the globe, with the best forensic technology known to man, does not know who is perpetrating these crimes.”
Offering $25,000 on all the known attacks would be almost $4 million, Harden noted.
“I don’t think they have any intention of paying out $25,000, and I will be the first to apologize if they do,” Harden said.
However, the FBI says it is probing “a series of attacks” against pregnancy centers that include possible violations of the FACE Act, short for the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, a law enacted in 1994 that outlaws physical force, obstruction or intimidation of those entering an abortion clinic or a place of worship, or to cause damage or destruction to a health facility or place of worship.
Fox News Digital asked the FBI why is now offering a $25,000 reward, five months after the attack.
“In general, FBI field offices conduct all logical investigative steps during the course of the investigation which can include offering a reward for information,” the FBI told Fox News Digital in an email. “In this case, FBI Buffalo is seeking the public’s help to identify the individuals responsible for the arson of the CompassCare Pregnancy Services Center and is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the arson.”
The FBI’s focus isn’t limited to the CompassCare attack, the statement says.
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“The FBI is investigating a series of attacks and threats targeting pregnancy resource centers, faith-based organizations, and reproductive health clinics across the country, as well as to judicial buildings, including the US Supreme Court,” the FBI’s response to Fox News says.
Harden doesn’t buy it but said he hopes he is wrong.
“The FBI has slow-walked justice specifically because they’ve been politicized,” Harden said.
“Compare that to how long it took a federal law enforcement joint task force to review the video surveillance of a Planned Parenthood attempted arson attack on July 31 in Kalamazoo, Michigan,” Harden said. “They did it instantaneously, and they had somebody arrested in four days. Good. There is no place in a civilized society for arson, for any kind of violence against people you might disagree with. Here we are five months out now.”
FBI INVESTIGATING ATTACKS ON PREGNANCY CENTERS AS POTENTIAL ACTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENT EXTREMISM
Wray, the FBI director, was asked about the violence against pro-lifers, during a Thursday hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
“Now, we have quite a number of investigations as we speak, into attacks or threats against pregnancy resource centers, faith-based organizations, and other pro-life organizations,” Wray told the Senate panel.
He continued that since the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, about 70 percent of the FBI’s abortion-related violence investigations have been threats against pro-lifers.
“We’re going after that through our joint terrorism task forces, through our criminal authorities, FACE Act, and things like that,” Wray said. “We have about 20 field offices involved in this, and so, we take it very seriously. And again, I don’t care whether you’re motivated by pro-life views or pro-choice views, you don’t get to use violence to express it.”
The Oct. 12 letter signed by 11 GOP senators and 26 GOP House members complained about a “recent rise in high-profile FBI investigations into pro-life Americans.”
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“Overzealous prosecutions under the FACE Act weaponize the power of federal law enforcement against American citizens in what should firmly be state and local matters,” says the letter, with the lead signers Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.
“Further, these abuses of federal power against pro-life Americans based solely on their beliefs undermine the American people’s trust in the FBI,” the lawmakers’ letter continues. “This is particularly true since there have been no reports of FBI investigations or DOJ prosecutions in relation to the more than 72 pregnancy resource centers and 80 Catholic churches that have been attacked or vandalized since the Dobbs leak – heinous, violent, and organized crimes across state lines that are also subject to prosecution under the FACE Act.”
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee issued a 1,050-page report on Nov. 4 alleging what whistleblowers said in alleging a politicized FBI. This included references to attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers. The report had a timeline that referenced the firebombing of CompassCare, among the 70 facilities.
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The report similarly contrasted aggressive tactics used against pro-life activists, such as the SWAT team arrest of Pennsylvania resident Mark Houck, and several others.
“Since the leak of the draft Dobbs opinion, Jane’s Revenge, a radical anti-life group, ‘has claimed responsibility for at least 18 arson and vandalism attacks’ on pro-life clinics and organizations,” the House report says. “While the FBI claims that it is investigating a ‘series of attacks and threats targeting pregnancy resource centers, faith-based organizations, and reproductive health clinics’ the FBI has not executed any SWAT team ‘dawn’ raids to make arrests in these cases.”