F.B.I. Memo and Justice Department Inquiry Findings


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An internal inquiry by the Justice Department revealed that a memo issued by the F.B.I. cautioning about potential threats from “radical-traditionalist” Catholics was deemed to have violated professional standards. However, it was determined that there was no evidence of malicious intent behind the memo.

Republicans have used the leaked 11-page memo as a point of contention, criticizing the F.B.I. for its contents. Some have gone as far as accusing the Biden administration of orchestrating a persecution campaign against Catholics and conservatives based on their beliefs.

The memo was retracted promptly after it was leaked, and senior law enforcement officials have distanced themselves from its contents on multiple occasions.

The review conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general focused on the F.B.I.’s office in Richmond, Va., where it was found that agents inappropriately linked the religious beliefs of individuals with the potential for domestic terrorism involvement. This led to the perception that individuals were being targeted solely based on their faith.

The inspector general’s investigation, spanning 120 days and initiated by Congress, concluded that there was no indication of any directive to investigate Catholics specifically due to their religion. The F.B.I.’s own internal review aligned with these findings.

A statement released by the F.B.I. following the inspector general’s report acknowledged the alignment of the findings and reiterated their commitment to upholding professional standards.

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