All Americans should be horrified by the FBI’s guns-drawn, SWAT-style arrest of a pro-life counselor, and the Biden administration must answer for it.
That’s the view of Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who called the FBI’s tactics in the Friday arrest of Mark Houck “as extreme a manner as one can imagine.”
“It’s meant to be frightening, and that’s what really outrages me,” Hawley told The Heartlander in an interview Wednesday, “and it also outrages the people who I’m hearing from all across our state who say that this is an incredible abuse of power.
“When has this ever happened before in our country? When have we had a country and an FBI that will go and raid the homes of political opponents? That will go and target ex-presidents? That will go to normal citizens’ homes, whether it’s parents who show up for school board meetings, or pro-life demonstrators who go and stand outside an abortion clinic? And then, because you do that, you’re going to get prosecuted by the Department of Justice?
“It is dangerous, it is an assault on the rule of law, and it has to stop.”
At least 20 agents, some with guns drawn, descended on Houck’s rural Pennsylvania home to arrest him for allegedly shoving an abortion clinic escort last October. Houck said the man was verbally assailing his 12-year-old son at close range.
Local authorities had declined to charge Houck last year. A charge later brought by the alleged victim himself in municipal court was dismissed after the man failed on multiple occasions to show for trial.
Yet the FBI has now made it a federal case, complete with an armed raid, and Hawley wants to know why. In a Sept. 26 letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Hawley asks why so many agents, why guns drawn – and why devote so much attention to Houck when no one has been charged for attacks on as many as 104 pro-life entities earlier this year.
Hawley said he’s heard from many constituents in Missouri who are both furious and afraid after the Houck raid.
“And they’re not wrong to be afraid, because that is exactly the message the FBI and the Department of Justice is sending. That’s exactly what they’re trying to do. They wanted to send a message with Mark Houck.
“This signals that if you’re pro-life, if you’re a person of faith and you express those views in public, that you might get a knock on your door from the FBI. They wanted people to fear that if they go and protest at an abortion clinic, that they may get a visit from a SWAT team. They may get 20 agents with guns at their door at the break of dawn terrorizing their children, because that’s what happened in this case. This is an outrageous abuse of law.”
The Republican senator made a point of adding that he doesn’t blame rank-and-file FBI agents who are just following orders – he blames their superiors.
“I want to know who signed off on it,” he said, echoing his letter to Garland. “Every person up the chain, those people should not serve in office. If you think that this is a legitimate use of law enforcement – to go and to terrorize pro-life protesters, to go after a guy when his own state looked at the supposed claims that he had shoved somebody and didn’t prosecute him, said no, there’s nothing to it, and yet the FBI sends a SWAT-style team to his door – that’s insane.
“And if you signed off on that, you shouldn’t be in office, because that tells me you don’t understand the rule of law and you don’t have respect for it.”
Meanwhile, Hawley says Google appears to be purposely blocking online traffic headed for pro-life pregnancy centers, including in Missouri.
“I’ve been contacted by multiple pregnancy care centers, and what they tell me is that their web traffic has just crashed in recent weeks, that Google is not allowing their search results to come up. And so, when women or others search for pregnancy care, Google is suppressing these results.
“Those are very serious allegations, and that’s why I’ve written to Google and said, is this true? I mean, tell me that this isn’t true.
“I bet it is. We know that Google is a censorship machine. These big tech companies are censorship machines, and they work hand-in-glove with the Biden administration. I’ve heard from pregnancy care centers across the state, and they’re telling me that they are not able to advertise or to get their message out because of what Google is doing.”
On the illegal immigration crisis, Hawley this week filed a bill allowing states to enforce federal law and even deport illegal immigrants – citing the fact that Martha’s Vineyard quickly rid itself of illegal immigrants but that Texas and Arizona cannot.
“That’s the liberal position – that if there’s not enough space in their pool houses at Martha’s Vineyard, they just can’t take anymore folks, they’re welcome to ship them wherever. But nobody else around the country could do that. That’s hypocritical. It’s just ridiculous.
“I bet most people would be surprised states can’t do this already, but it’s time to give them the authority.
“If states are willing to expend their own resources and manpower to enforce our laws, my view is let’s let them do it. We need somebody to enforce the law, for heaven’s sake, because Joe Biden certainly will not.”