Houck made national headlines in 2021 when federal prosecutors charged him with violating the FACE Act, an abortion law that protects clinic workers and volunteers from violence perpetrated by pro-life demonstrators. Houck was accused of violating that law when he shoved a cursing Planned Parenthood clinic escort, and he faced up to 11 years in prison for doing so, but a federal jury seated in Philadelphia acquitted Houck after only an hour of deliberation thanks to surveillance video of the altercation.
Thomas More Society, the legal group that won an acquittal for Houck in his federal trial, has previously told AFN its attorneys urged federal prosecutors to drop their case against him because the video footage showed he did not violate the FACE Act. Not only did the Philadelphia prosecutor’s office pursue the charges, a D.C.-based federal prosecutor was sent to Philly to lead the case.
Thomas More attorneys also assured federal prosecutors their client would appear in front of a judge for his arraignment if Houck was indicted by a grand jury but, instead, Thomas More learned their client was in FBI custody after a SWAT team raid that allegedly included approximately 20 agents armed with rifles and a ballistic shield.
After allegations surfaced about an over-the-top raid, the Philadelphia FBI office released a statement that called its action "professional" and called Houck's account an "overstatement." The statement did not specify the number of personnel involved of their tactics that day.
Now seeking justice for what he sees as a politicized investigation, Houck has filed two federal lawsuits seeking millions in damages for the FBI raid at his family’s rural home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Houck’s lawsuit was filed November 8 with legal help from pro-life group 40 Days For Life.
Shawn Carney, who leads 40 Days for Life, tells AFN the acquittal of Houck was a “well-deserved embarrassment” for the Department of Justice which otherwise has a 98% conviction rate.
40 Days for Life respects the DOJ and the many good people who work there, Carney says, but the Biden administration has declared war on culturally conservative Catholics.
“And Mark is an example of that,” Carney says, “and it is ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.”
Carney predicts the lawsuit will win the approval of some abortion supporters, who know Houck was innocent, and DOJ employees who know their employer is targeting Americans because of their beliefs.
FBI got caught with anti-Catholic memo
President Biden, who says he is Catholic, is overseeing a Department of Justice that got caught circulating a department memo that described traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists. The memo was a collaboration among FBI offices in Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles, California; and Richmond, Virginia. It originated in the Richmond office.
In testimony in front of Congress, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Republican lawmakers he was “aghast” after he learned about the memo, and Attorney General Merrick Garland said he was insulted when asked if he believes traditional Catholics are violent Americans.
“Mr. Attorney General,” Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) pointed out, “it was your FBI that did this.”
The word-salad FBI memo is entitled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”