WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and a group of Senate Republicans demanded an explanation from the Justice Department and FBI for the abnormal and aggressive dawn raid on the home of a pro-life advocate in Pennsylvania last week. The senators include members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has legislative and oversight jurisdiction over the Justice Department, and one of the advocate’s home-state senators
More than two dozen federal agents, some using ballistics shields and long guns, arrived to arrest the pro-life advocate on Friday, September 23, for an incident that occurred nearly a year prior and for which local authorities dismissed all charges. The show-of-force raid by the FBI followed multiple overtures about cooperation by the advocate’s attorneys to the federal prosecutor’s office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which went unanswered over the course of weeks.
“Based on reports and allegations, the actions taken by the FBI reasonably call into question whether they complied with DOJ’s use of force policy. The FBI must explain their justification for their actions…,” the senators wrote.
A simple arrest warrant can be served by a pair or small number of agents, and are often eschewed in favor of a court summons in cases involving non-violent offenders. The use of such significant manpower and resources, stands in stark contrast to the apparent lack of response to the series of violent attacks on crisis pregnancy centers across the country.
Further, the significant delay in taking action more than 11 months after the alleged incident raises questions about the motivation for pursuing charges, especially after local authorities declined to arrest or press charges contemporaneously.
“This extraordinary fact pattern requires additional information from the Justice Department and the FBI relating to why Mr. Houck was not allowed to self-report for his arrest and arraignment and whether political considerations were made to approve and execute the search warrant,” the senators continued.
Full text of the letter can be found HERE.