22 members of Congress press Garland for solutions on arrest of pro-life Catholic activist Mark Houck

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

FIRST ON FOX: Twenty-two members of Congress demanded answers from Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday regarding the recent FBI arrest of a Catholic pro-life activist.

“As you know, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is once again in the national headlines following another raid of an American citizen,” the letter began. “This time, of Mark Houck, a father of seven, a noted Catholic, and a pro-life activist.”

The FBI arrested Houck, 48, on Friday in front of his wife and seven children at his rural Kintnersville home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The pro-life father, who often protests peacefully outside abortion clinics, is co-founder and president of The King’s Men, a Catholic ministry that aims to spiritually mentor young Catholic men.

The arrest reportedly stemmed from an altercation Houck had with a Planned Parenthood escort in Philadelphia in October 2021, when he was accused of pushing a 72-year-old man outside the clinic after the escort allegedly verbally harassed Houck’s 12-year-old son.


The letter noted how Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, described the arrest to Catholic News Agency as a team of roughly 25 federal agents, with guns drawn and in about 15 vehicles, pounding on their front door and allegedly threatening to break it down.

Mark Houck seen with his children. Houck was arrested on Friday by the FBI stemming from a reported altercation with a man outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia.
(Thomas More Society )

“There is much to learn about the extent of the FBI’s operations in this case, apparently since state-level charges were apparently dismissed by local authorities in Philadelphia,” the members wrote. “Surely, the FBI must have an extraordinary reason for showing up at the home of an American family, allegedly with roughly 25 heavily armed federal agents, and arresting a father in front of his seven children.”

The FBI later denied the agents were part of a SWAT team and a former Houck family spokesperson said Ryan-Marie Houck unintentionally used a technical term. A senior FBI source previously told Fox News there may have been 15-20 agents at the scene, but denied 25 were there.

The agents who came to the door had guns out and at the ready, according to this FBI source, but the guns were never pointed at Houck or his family and were lowered or holstered as soon as Houck was taken into custody.


Family photo of Mark Houck, a pro-life activist arrested by the FBI, with his children.

Family photo of Mark Houck, a pro-life activist arrested by the FBI, with his children.
(Thomas More Society)

“At the moment, it appears to be an extraordinary overreach for political ends,” the letter continued.

The members demanded an explanation on what they described as “an excessive level of force used by the FBI in this case, and why the force of federal law enforcement was once again used against an American citizen in what should be a state and local matter.” The attorney general was urged to issue a written reply by Sept. 30.

Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies during a hearing at the Capitol on April 26, 2022.

Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies during a hearing at the Capitol on April 26, 2022.
(Greg Nash/Pool Photo via AP)

The letter was signed by Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, W. Gregory Steube of Florida, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Bill Posey of Florida, Mary Miller of Illinois, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Randy Weber of Texas, Ronny Jackson of Texas, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Jody Hice of Georgia, Bob Good of Virginia, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, and Paul Gosar of Arizona.

The senators who signed were Steve Daines of Montana, James Risch of Idaho, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Mike Braun of Indiana, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Mike Crapo of Idaho.


The letter echoed one sent by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who likewise demanded Garland answer for the raid. In his Tuesday letter, Hawley accused the attorney general of turning a “local dispute into a national case” and criticized the FBI for executing the search warrant in “extreme a manner as one can imagine.”

Source link