Jordan: Document Indicates Multiple FBI Offices Worked on Memo Targeting ‘Radical-Traditionalist’ Catholics, Contradicting Wray’s Testimony

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for a House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponiz
Patrick Semansky/AP

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) says it appears multiple FBI field offices were involved in crafting the memo that detailed plans to target “radical traditionalist” Catholics, despite FBI Director Christoper Wray’s testimony that it was a “product from a single field office.” 

On Wednesday, House Judiciary chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government chairman Mike Johnson (R-LA) penned a letter to Wray contending that new information indicates the FBI Portland and Los Angeles field offices influenced the memo, which Wray said last month he was “aghast” to learn about. 

The letter reads in part:

From information recently produced to the Committee, we now know that the FBI relied on information from around the country—including a liaison contact in the FBI’s Portland Field Office and reporting from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office—to develop its assessment.

It notes that the information comes from a less-redacted version of the memo the committee recently obtained. When Jordan questioned Wray last month based upon a more redacted copy, the director contended it “was a single product by a single field office.”

House Committee on the Judiciary / YouTube

“This revelation raises the question of why you redacted this information in previous versions of the document you produced to the Committee,’ the letter states. It also charges that the new information “raises concerns about the accuracy, completeness, and truthfulness” of the director’s testimony and invites him to “amend” it “to fully explain the nature and scope of the FBI’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.” 

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during the House Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” on July 12, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty)

In February, suspended FBI Special Agent Kyle Sepharin first leaked a redacted version of the memo titled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”

The document, dated January 23, 2023, sought to recruit church leadership to serve as FBI “tripwires,” as Breitbart News reported at the time: 

The version the FBI provided to Jordan, which was reviewed by Breitbart News, showed the Richmond office had found that violent extremists’ “interest” in “radical-traditionalist Catholic” ideology was growing and that it therefore presented an opportunity for the FBI to engage with certain churches in an attempt to goad the churches’ leadership into serving as FBI “tripwires,” who would operate like unofficial informants to the FBI.

Additionally, the letter requests communications and documents between the FBI Richmond office and the Portland and Los Angeles offices concerning the memo and a rundown of “intelligence products that have also cited” the Los Angeles and Richmond office’s reporting. 

Moreover, they call on Wray to “Confirm the placement and access of the FBI’s Portland Field Office liaison contact with indirect access and the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office Undercover Employee with direct access.” 

Jordan and Johnson gave an August 23, 2023, deadline for Wray’s response. 


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