Attorney General Paxton joined a Virginia-led coalition that sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) Director Christopher Wray and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting more information after an anti-Catholic FBI internal memorandum was made public.  

The memorandum, which was produced by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, identifies certain individuals as “radical-traditionalist Catholic[s]” and potential “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.” Among the ways that the memorandum purports to differentiate between Catholics approved by the FBI and those deemed to be dangerous is the language in which they pray and their fidelity to certain traditional views on sex and marriage, which the FBI memorandum identifies as “anti-LGBTQ.” This unconstitutional targeting of Americans is made worse by the fact that the memorandum indicates the potential for sources to be developed in “places of worship.”  

Though the FBI evidently took action to remove the memo and conduct a “review of the basis for the document,” that it was even created should be disturbing to all Americans and demands accountability. The targeting of citizens based on their religious views is deeply un-American.  

The letter calls on the FBI to take several actions in response to this alarming memo coming to light. Among other requests, the coalition is demanding to see the full report, documents used in its drafting, information about the report’s implementation, and information pertaining to what is being done to stop the targeting of Catholics.   

The letter states: “DOJ and the FBI must desist from investigating and surveilling Americans who have done nothing more than exercise their natural and constitutional right to practice their religion in a manner of their choosing. And they should reveal to the American public the extent to which they have engaged in such activities. We will take all lawful and appropriate means to protect the rights of our constituents as guaranteed by our Constitution.” 

To read the full letter, click here.