Congressman Demands Answers: DOJ Under Fire For Withholding Data

By Tommy Wilson | Sunday, 18 February 2024 12:00 PM
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In a recent development, Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) has penned a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in response to the agency's failure to provide requested data concerning the criteria for prosecuting Americans under the Freedom of Access to Clinical Entrances (FACE) Act.

The request was initially made in October 2022, and despite assurances from Kristen Clarke, the DOJ's Assistant Attorney for Civil Rights, the requested information has yet to be delivered.

The FACE Act, which Congressman Roy has proposed to repeal, has been a subject of controversy. Critics argue that it has been misused to target pro-life activists demonstrating at abortion clinics. "The Civil Rights Division continues to use the FACE Act to unfairly target pro-life advocates," Roy stated in the letter, which was obtained by the Daily Signal.

The Congressman highlighted a recent case where six pro-life advocates were convicted of violating the FACE Act. "On January 30, 2024, six pro-life advocates were found guilty of violating the FACE Act and they now face up ten and a half years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $260,000," Roy wrote.

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He also drew attention to the aggressive raid conducted by the DOJ on the home of pro-life advocate Mark Houck, who was charged under the FACE Act following an altercation with an aggressive abortion activist. Houck was later acquitted by a Pennsylvania jury in January 2023.

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The Congressman expressed concern over the DOJ's failure to provide the requested data, especially given the perceived disparity in prosecutions targeting pro-life protestors compared to pro-abortion attacks on places of worship and pregnancy resource centers. "DOJ's refusal to comply with this request hampers the Committee’s constitutional duty to conduct oversight over the Department and the Civil Rights Division," Roy added.

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The Congressman is seeking information on the number of FACE Act cases brought by the DOJ since the law's enactment in 1994, the number of FACE Act cases filed in response to incidents at abortion providers, pregnancy resource centers, and places of religious worship, and any policies or procedures the DOJ may have implemented regarding the filing and prosecution of charges under FACE.

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Despite the FACE Act's protection extending to pregnancy centers and houses of worship, the Biden DOJ has primarily used this legislation to prosecute pro-life individuals. In May 2022, the DOJ filed a list of FACE Act cases obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Congressman Roy requested the same information in a letter dated October 20, 2022, but the DOJ has yet to provide it.

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The ongoing situation underscores the need for transparency and accountability in the application of the FACE Act, as well as the importance of safeguarding the rights of all Americans, regardless of their stance on contentious issues such as abortion.

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