"We're looking at an issue that was raised by a former FBI agent who was able to get a copy of a leaked memo out of Richmond, Virginia in which it looked like the FBI was anticipating, or already had started, spying on Catholic churches and considering anybody who attended church regularly as a domestic terrorist," Huelskamp details.
Since the story broke, he says there have been multiple hearings and some reveals from members of Congress, including Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), and numerous others. The lawsuit follows up on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that was immediately sent in to determine exactly what the FBI's spy operation on church-attending Americans entailed.
"The attorney general for President Biden denied any such spying was occurring," says Huelskamp. "He claimed it was the action of a rogue agent."
The political advisor argues, though, that Biden's Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations have refused to follow the law. They have denied any wrongdoing, but they have also refused to prove otherwise, and that is why the lawsuit was filed.
"The DOJ said they would provide the records, and when the time was up, we gave them an extra week under the law to find those records," Huelskamp relays. "They had 20 days. It has been nearly 30 days since that clock started running."
According to Huelskamp, the FBI has a "history of spying on numerous churches" and of considering church-attending Catholics, evangelicals, or Muslims as domestic terrorist threats.
"In many cases, it is not just spying, but it is sometimes encouraging and trying to find folks that they hope would commit a crime that they could arrest," the former state representative reports. He says that is unconstitutional and "completely un-American."
As part of the lawsuit, CatholicVote is requesting any and all records of communications between Attorney General Merrick Garland, his assistants, and employees that work in the Richmond offices of the FBI.
"The various folks required to enforce the law have decided to continue to cover up this matter of spying in Catholic churches," Huelskamp laments.
He adds, though, that this lawsuit aims to expose the coverup going on in the highest levels of this administration in terms of spying on church-attending, law-abiding Americans who have the audacity to go to church every Sunday. Otherwise, he admits he is afraid for the future of America.