Over 22 lawmakers have requested Attorney General Merrick Garland to give an explanation of why the FBI allegedly sent 25-30 armed agents to arrest Catholic pro-life activist Mark Houck while his “screaming” children watched in shock.
The letter, released on Tuesday and organized by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), claimed that the FBI ought to be able to provide an “extraordinary reason” for arresting Houck in the manner they did. The letter read:
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. 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.
“At the moment, it appears to be an extraordinary overreach for political ends,” the letter continued.
The letter called on Merrick Garland to respond by September 30.
Republican Representative Chip Roy of Texas told Fox News that the raid on Houck is another sign of how politicized the FBI and the Department of Justice have become under the presidency of Joe Biden.
Mark Houck is the founder and president of The King's Men which is a group that is dedicated to helping men be better fathers, husbands, and leaders. He was taken into custody at his rural Pennsylvania home on Friday night in connection to an allegedly violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act during his routine sidewalk counseling in front of an abortion facility in 2021. In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Houck's wife, Ryan-Marie, claimed that 25-30 fully armed FBI agents swarmed their home early on Friday, aiming at their guns as the children were screaming.
The FBI has denied that it sent an SWAT team to Houck’s home, however they have not denied that up to 30 armed FBI agents were there to capture Houck that morning. The FBI claimed:
There are inaccurate claims being made regarding the arrest of Mark Houck. No SWAT Team or SWAT operators were involved. FBI agents knocked on Mr. Houck’s front door, identified themselves as FBI agents and asked him to exit the residence. He did so and was taken into custody without incident pursuant to an indictment.
This FACE Act violation allegedly was in regards to an incident where Houck pushed a 72-year-old abortionist who was taking women to the Planned Parenthood clinic. Houck's family claims that the man was harassing his son, who was 12 years old at the time.
Media reports suggest that the escort had to receive “medical attention” after Houck pushed him. Brian Middleton, a spokesperson of Houck's family, said to Catholic News Agency (CNA) that the escort required nothing more than a bandage and suffered no serious injuries. The spokesman added that Houck's family is seeking to get footage from the incident. Both Philadelphia police and the district attorney wouldn’t bring charges against Houck. After the escort filed a private criminal complaint with Philadelphia municipal court, the case was dismissed in July.
According to lawyer Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Vice Senior Counsel and President, Houck was willing to hand himself over to authorities in a voluntary manner three months ago.
“Rather than accepting Mark Houck’s offer to appear voluntarily, the Biden Department of Justice chose to make an unnecessary show of potentially deadly force, sending twenty heavily armed federal agents to the Houck residence at dawn this past Friday,” Breen told Breitbart News. “In threatening form, after nearly breaking down the family’s front door, at least five agents pointed guns at Mark’s head and arrested him in front of his wife and seven young children, who were terrified that their husband and father would be shot dead before their eyes.”
“This case is being brought solely to intimidate people of faith and pro-life Americans,” he said. “Mark Houck is innocent of these lawless charges, and we intend to prove that in court.”
The FACE Act makes it a federal crime to harass or injure any person who is trying to facilitate abortion access. U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero said:
Assault is always a serious offense, and under the FACE Act, if the victim is targeted because of their association with a reproductive healthcare clinic, it is a federal crime. Our Office and the Department of Justice are committed to prosecuting crimes which threaten the safety and rights of all individuals.
“Put simply, violence is never the answer,” said Special Agent Jacqueline Maguire, who is in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Violating the FACE Act by committing a physical assault is a serious crime for which the FBI will work to hold offenders accountable.”
Houck's lawyer, Peter Breen, also explained to Breitbart News that the Thomas More Society has informed the Biden DOJ of the fact that “FACE Act does not cover one-on-one altercations.”
Houck could be facing 11 years of prison time and fines as high as $350,000 if convicted.